Andrew & Gwen Adair : Colour & Surface

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A joint exhibition by husband and wife artists, Andy and Gwen Adair.
The exhibition will include ceramics and 2D work by Andy and paintings by Gwen.

28th September 2021 14th November 2021

Artist’s Statement – ANDREW ADAIR

I have been a practicing ceramic artist for over thirty years and have always tried to maintain a playful approach to clay, allowing the material to be evident through torn edges, cracks, texture and surface, enjoying the random, organic quality this brings. I greatly admire potters such as Voulkos, Pearson, Maltby and Peascod (who I was privileged to be taught by at Glasgow School of Art) for their affinity with their medium and the real integrity their work has.

My work must have similar integrity at its core and the material itself must be clearly manifest in the finished pieces. I enjoy “the potness of the pot”; something to be handled and appreciated in a tactile sense, not just through an aesthetic eye. I remain fascinated by the same themes, the interplay between positive and negative space, the layering and distressing of surface, the unpredictable and the accidental. These are constants in my work.

I use a subtle and limited palette using different clays as a base. This involves stretching, layering and folding the clay, then imprinting the surface; printmaking with clay and glaze instead of paper and ink. My ideas in terms of content are suggested by topical discussions, news stories, quotes, the music playing while I work, whatever catches my mind and eye.

As well as continuing to work with clay, I have, over the last few years, diversified into 2D, repurposing old metal shelves, wooden pallets, and anything with an interesting surface that can be modified and developed. Here I am still exploring many of the same themes as I do in clay, but on a larger scale. Using spray paint, stencils, a blow torch and a lot of elbow grease I am attacking the surface in a much more direct and aggressive manner. Techniques used in my ceramics, have themselves been repurposed and reused in the 2D works and then reworked back into 3D. The sense of play remains and continues to guide my process. The outcome is not gentle or pretty, but hopefully quite challenging to the viewer.

Artist’s Statement – GWEN ADAIR

My work explores various themes, but people often predominate in figure compositions and in portraits. I am fascinated by the way the disposition of figures can create a story in the mind of the viewer, which possibly comes from my training as an illustrator at Glasgow School of Art. I am drawn to the idea of otherness, as in folk and fairy tales, or in performers adopting other personas and creating different worlds and alternative realities.

Birds began to appear alongside the performers, and have now become a subject in themselves, as their colours, shapes and textures are lovely to paint. There is also something knowing about birds.

My new-found love of landscape painting is allowing me to develop my language of  expressive and gestural mark-making. Generally my themes are quite traditional, and I tend to work quickly in an “alla prima” fashion, using oil paint with square brushes and a palette knife. Hopefully this gives a certain spontaneity to the work. I strongly believe that the paint should be part of the painting, and that the marks themselves should add to the image.