A selection of extremely detailed preparatory paintings and drawings by artist Nathan Walsh. While firmly rooted in the “observable world”, Walsh’s artistic process involves shaping and manipulation in an effort to develop a new language of realistic painting. Over the years, Walsh has built up an archive of raw materials, objects and photographs, which he keeps in his studio – a converted Welsh Methodist chapel where he lives and works. Living alongside his collection, Walsh creates cityscapes with a mind-bending “neither here nor there” quality, drawing as much on his own imagination as on the physical references that surround him. Scenes that initially seem familiar don’t operate by the same laws that govern the real world. In “Metaphors”, for example, what begins as a view through the window of a Parisian antique dealer becomes a moving scene of found objects, patterns and invented reflections. The painting does not so much imitate our world as it reinvents it – providing a parallel space that operates by its own rules.
“Drawing plays an important aspect of my studio practice, from the visual notes I take on location to the intricate planes that underpin my paintings. Instead of imitating reality or photo-based images, these working drawings allow me to create an alternate reality constructed from a process of creating and then revising line and form. I use perspective not in a predetermined way but rather as a fluid strategy to develop composition. The rules of the manuals are assimilated and then manipulated and often rejected as the works develop. The subjects explored here lend themselves to a method of construction and deconstruction. Cafés, bus stops and museums are presented as composites of interior, exterior and reflected space. For all their accuracy, they are not fixed in nature but exist in multiple states at the same time.
Check out more of Walsh’s work below!