Statement

My recent pictures are based on found images of children and landscapes. In particular they are drawn from a distinct era of British culture and TV programmes and films – 1970s and 1980s educational programmes for schools, childrens films and public information films. These have a particular resonance for anyone who grew up in the 1970s or early to mid 1980s. For example The Children of the stones, an HTV production from 1977, was concerned with subject matter and atmospheres that seemed odd or even unsettling for a broadcast aimed at children - eerily presented supernatural forces and/or the breakdown of normal society. Long since cancelled TV programmes, vaguely recalled childrens films, Fisher Price toys, Ladybird books, have become ideas for compositions. Modern technology has allowed this engagement with the past, instant availability via the internet. Memories of the past have been preserved and have a continued life in the present.

I include a minimal amount of information in the paintings; just enough to create form and a sense of space, while avoiding too much description. I enjoy mixing different colours and shades and placing them next to one another on the canvas. The oil paint, thinned with turps, is scrubbed into the weave of the linen, and may be removed and repainted over and over. Often the settings are rural landscapes or villages. The figures depicted are quite vague or generalised. Along with the English pastoral landscape they are often pictured in, these portrayals recreate a particular time and place.

 
Ben Walker Art