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The Enormity of Painting

Stephen Hornsby-Smith
Stephen Hornsby-Smith

Why entitle this exhibition 'The Bigger Picture' ?

The scale of the small silhouetted figures being dwarfed by the canvas image behind them should tell you something !? Throughout history down playing 'background' or 'foreground' have been devices used to secrete in Painting something no longer accessable or valued or something so over used that it stigmatizes or marginalizes those who incorporate it ! So why would we want to invent something in contemporary Art that would re enforce the same effect? Why let 'abstract -you-out' beyond the terrain of Paint and end-up in victimizing any residual binary code of interplay between abstraction and its figurative cousin on any 2D surface ? Why would you replace Abstract Art with esoteric abstract thinking and call that Art'? How did this egotistical construct of 'form' come to substitute Paint in both the figurative and abstract? Oblique anal-retentive philosophizing has made it's form of Art 'Art up -its self' ! Should I show some respect to post, post-post-(you get the idea) post- structural materialism we're so proud of you!? Welcome to the 3rd decade of the 21st century that has over-indulged in Art technology and digital novelty by replacing centuries of our most important Art resource, the balancing act of the binary code of Paint and technique!

But these diminutive figures on these images have been dwarfed by the immensity of an original image towering above the figures. Such availability and accessability of cheap low financial risk/cost materials has taken to the UK, where popular participation of practicing Painting has been multiplied way beyond the reality TV shows' audience expectations! Painting is on fire in the UK by popular demand ! Perhaps this is one channel of Art in which we can make it our own! Not just' Buy British' but be a nation of Painters not just shopkeepers ! Imagine if half a million Painter's were to provide their version on an agreed theme, and then max-out on getting 20 million Painter's show casing the UK ?


The titles for the Paintings in the exhibition 'The Bigger Picture' reflect the state of Painting in the UK , burgeoning by public participation but kicked into the long grass by the Art Top Table ! The Temptation' of Painting' involves canvas, and Painted Mask.It asks would Eve be tempted to eat the forbidden fruit of 'Art without Painting'? Isn't Painting seen as 'The ugly duckling' but prevented from becoming a beautiful swan by the God's of Art but 'Overcrowded' or choked, suffocating and down trodden from largely what is outside canvas rather than what is inside it ! Shouldn't Art be judged on its merits without prejudice or pre-judgement ? Original image making by Paint on 2D or 3D is like a breath of fresh air, isn't it ? Or perhaps the enormity of the 'backdrop' image imposing on the figures just replicates a reversal of fortunes with or without ironic overtones !?!


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