PALIMPSEST / noun. Something reused or altered, but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form. A manuscript or piece of writing material, which later writing has been superimposed, an effaced earlier writing.
My work is landscape based. I use layers of paint and material to produce textural artefacts. I hope to push what painting can be.
I use left overs, things found, traces from and surplus to the modern world. Anything is fair game. I mix these materials with recycled paint (often from council recycling centres) and glue this together with canvas from old paintings and board, plus earth, ash, soot and pigment. I enjoy taking these items, that already have an intrinsic history, and giving them a new one to add to their old. A form of renewal that mirrors both the landscape and our own existence. Renewal upon renewal, layer upon layer; all leaving an echo.
The shapes of these paintings are idiosyncratic and follow the energy of the image as I'm working. This allows me to emphasise features of the landscape; its form and its texture.
My images derive from familiar places, often those known to me as a child. I return to them at all times of the year and in all weathers. For these works a valley on Bodmin Moor is central. It is seemingly unremarkable, yet the valley presents a huge canvas of sky against the gentle curve of land that celebrates the often dramatic weather. It is near an A30 layby, where a hot dog van used to park. It was a regular stop off point for visits to and from Cornwall, visited briefly but regularly for very many years. Slowly visits and walks became longer, like many loved places, it has become a place of solace and contemplation. My memories of walks from here over many years, form the basis of the body of work.
Slowly a landscape falls into the subconscious. So back in the studio, the hills of this valley, clouds, weather, ruins of a china clay pit and the A30 itself are etched and embued into the images. I hope that these rich conglomerated surfaces suggest something about notions of time, memory, geology and archeology, that I feel in the landscape. I also hope to suggest in the rawness and layering of my landscapes, something of the complications and complexities of our existence.
Andrew Hardwick, 2016
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Andrew Hardwick is a British artist born in Bristol, England in 1961 where he still resides.
His often large scale, sedimentary paintings display his captivation with wilderness zones; both natural and man-made. Playing with and subverting traditional notions of romantic landscape painting and the sublime. The paintings often depict edge-land zones around big industrial conurbations or ports, such as large-scale car storage compounds, redundant factories and polluted waste lands. Other works draw inspiration from the more typically idyllic locations such as Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor. However, these landscapes are also filled with reminders of human interference. Roads criss-cross the moor in deeply scratched lines, a narrow road is etched into an otherwise massive moorland triptych, likewise a real car radiator sits in the surface of a painting’s as if decaying and buried by the earth.
His medium of working is also atypical, paintings are heavily layered with different types of paint (often sourced from recycling centre), plaster, plastics, soils, pigments, roofing felt, hay and other unconventional materials. To this rich surface relevant artefacts are often added, creating reminders or triggering memories intrinsic to a particular landscape. The concept of layering in the landscape arrived partly a result of the artist’s childhood, during which his family’s farm was first sliced in half by the M5 motorway and then again by the Royal Portbury Dock. The land once filled with sheep has become a pure edge-land wilderness with detritus of the developments now filling the land. Hardwick’s entire oeuvre makes reference to concepts of change, memory, history and emotion. Ever redolent is the notion that we are but another layer in time.
Andrew Hardwick achieved an MA in Fine Art at the University of Wales. He is an elected Academician at the Royal West of England Academy. He has featured in four solo exhibitions at Anima-Mundi. Works have been exhibited extensively including numerous public shows and have been collected worldwide. Andrew Hardwick is represented by Anima-Mundi.