Richard Cook  


Artist's Statement, July 2007

It is wilderness that inspires me. I paint the land, sky, the ocean, and tree. My subject is the seen world of nature. The horizon disappearing behind the ocean; the land curving into a strange tilt; and the air buzzing with an ecstatic presence as a chant humming the experience of the outdoors. The early childhood that I spent in Ceylon has perhaps created memories that now permeate my work. And in looking back unknowingly I painted open spaces even when living in London; looking for what is intrinsic in landscape.

In my mind the trees and watery spaces, the grey expanse of distance, - that seems to wrap itself as sensuously loving arms around the boundaries of the land, - are all elements of an incantation. The journey from the seeing to the doing lies in somehow discovering a personal vocabulary, which through the economy of painting returns the thing experienced back into my own world. It is an engagement with the abstract broadness of form, rather than the minutely observed, changing topographical identity into a new dynamic delineation of a place. This mapping in paint is akin to a repeated walk along a known pathway where space, re-invented, becomes a liminal margin of light and colour. And so I am caught in an endless cycle or rhythm, exploring the rawness of being inside the landscape itself.