FEBRUARY 2018: RHIANNON INMAN-SIMPSON
A blue mark will become a puddle, a pool, and then the sea. A brushstroke that started off as a mountain becomes a rock. Scale slips and slides and places form and dissolve and then reform again as somewhere new altogether. The place stays as fluid as the paint.
A painting can create a space of its own whilst also being a depiction of a place. I play with abstraction, exploring the connections between the physicality of the act of painting and the experience of place. The paintings lie somewhere between experienced and imagined spaces, between something solid and fluid and on the border of both abstraction and representation. It is this space in between experience and memory, between the concrete and the abstract, that interests me and that the medium of paint naturally lends itself to.
I enjoy the building up of layers in painting: obscuring, destroying, and rebuilding. It is an intense process where a space forms and dissolves multiple times before it solidifies. I seek to retain luminescence in the paintings, to activate an air flow within them.
When adding or removing a color it can feel as if I have turned a corner, or as if the light has altered with a change in weather. The space can very quickly oscillate between the familiar and the unfamiliar, moving between a memory of a place to an experience of a new, fictional landscape. Time becomes suspended and thoughts can move freely between memory and imagination to tangible thoughts on how a color is mixed or placed on a surface.
A very similar dynamic also exists when walking. Thoughts can shift between the very concrete concerns of navigating a space, being alert to the weather, time, cold hands or how to cross a stream, to remote memories and the experience of being able to think in a more open and expanded way. These two acts are inextricably connected.
Rhiannon Inman-Simpson is a British artist currently living in Bergen, Norway. Her interests lie in ideas surrounding place, the body, language, and time. She is interested in the physical and imaginative encounters we have with landscape and the role that memory plays. Painting is at the core of her practice, although her work also encompasses writing, drawing, and installation. She has taken part in residencies in Iceland, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Scotland, and Ireland, and exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions across the UK and Scandinavia. You can see more at http://www.rhiannoninmansimpson.com/ and instagram.com/rhiannon.inmansimpson/.