‘Repetition’ digital image
‘Orwell’ digital image
‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ pen and ink A4
Artist statement I like to think that it is unusual that the first George Orwell book I read was Keep The Aspidistra Flying. It made a real impact on me. It made me realise that art could be autobiographical and still have a message. I felt real empathy with Gordon and it is still my favourite book of his. I’ve never been much of a fan of Animal Farm if I’m honest. It’s a good book well written but just doesn’t do it for me. The book that really helped me form my political views was The Road To Wigan Pier. George’s descriptions of how people lived and the poverty they endured affected me deeply, even though he was documenting times well before I was born. He made me realise that you cannot separate politics from any other activity. Even breathing is a political act. And art most certainly is! Anyone who thinks that art shouldn’t be or isn’t political is just deluding themselves.
Predictably the work that has influenced my art more than any of his writing, and which I think is one of the best loved stories ever written, is his dystopian masterpiece ‘1984’. In these dark times it is never far from my thoughts. Much of my work is kicking out at authoritarianism and the distortion of truth by the media. Newspeak is dominant.
His essay on ‘A Hanging’ and his writings from the Spanish civil war cemented my pacifism and my belief that the taking of human life to be totally wrong.
Some of my work is overtly Orwellian and obvious and then other times there will be a quite subtle reference. Much of my work deals with oppression, hate and injustice the weapons used by the elite to keep us in our place. The one theme that runs through virtually all of my art is the phrase ‘nothing is ever black and white’. So much of modern life is covered in a veneer. People take things at face value. They think what they are told to think by today’s thought police; – mainstream media.
About: As a visual artist I work with a mix of media, although today much of my work is produced in a digital format. My work reflects how I feel, how I view the world and life with all its absurdities.
Nothing is ever black and white, even when it’s black on white my art should never be taken at face value. More often than not I work with very bold colours; I love their richness and the way they shout at the viewer.
I’m not sure I have a single style although much of my work could be best described as surrealist or post-modern pop/punk art. Having said that as far as I’m concerned it’s just me and my art as I rarely set out to consciously produce work in a specific style. When I’m not producing simple line drawings my favourite technique is to build up pictures in layers, sometimes using digital ‘paint’, sometimes using collage and sometimes both together. I’m also starting to work with video.
One thought on “Paul Garrard: Nothing is ever black and white”
Reblogged this on Paul Garrard, artist – News and commented:
Some of my work inspired by Orwell has just been published here.