autumn rhythm


Close by my studio in Kent, the natural theatre of change is never more dramatic than in autumn. Hidden forms reveal themselves; concealed colours are articulated while open spaces and tangled undergrowth bring serendipitous surprise that bramble snags the imagination with delight.

This set of sculptures all turn inward. Open in their rhythm, the complex lines find their way into space and break, biforate and re-join the riotous autumnal rhythm; no beginning and no end, a closed loop of evolving energy while the palette, built from layers of lightly tinted lacquer seamlessly move dramatic colours into each other. Warm orange over cool green, mottled violet meets stinging yellow. The surface too moves from matt to high gloss, like the dry fragility of a decaying leaf and the glistening wet of after rain foliage.

The process of making is never quite controlled but a staged series of managed accidents. Moments of coloured chance and instant happenstance are layered over delineated form and long hours of careful polish. The sculptures make a deliberate nod to the late work of Jackson Pollock where he removed the paintbrush from the surface of the canvas and subjected the viscous paint to the vagaries of gravity, controlling its gesture but letting the fluidity of the material run its course and in so doing building surprise and organic wonder.

Oliver Barratt
January 2022