Tom Ormond 'Inside out Studio', 2013 Oil on linen 183x193cm
September 6th- October 5th, 2013
CHARLIE SMITH london is delighted to present Tom Ormond with his first one person exhibition at the gallery.
Ormond’s paintings operate between the rustic and the futuristic. Overtly architectural, we are shown interior views or isolated buildings in sparse landscapes. Paying great attention to the physicality of a structure, Ormond renders constructions by combining great, angular struts with worn, textured surfaces. However, these are impossible structures that in the hands of the artist become sentient. They are in flux, either in a state of implosion or explosion, where the derelict points towards what was, and what will be. This flight of logic leads to the heart of the paintings. More often than not the subject begins with the dynamics of the artist’s own studio - and by extension every artist’s studio - which is then transformed into an environment beyond time and place. Looking closely, one will identify the detritus of artistic production: brushes, paint pots, bits of wood, models and empty cups. Each of these is suggested by earlier layers of paint and mark making, and refer to the power of transformation from the everyday to the mysterious.
The idea of transformation is augmented by the light structures that dominate many of Ormond’s paintings. Appearing within and outside of the buildings, complex constructions of geometric light forms come to dominate the environment. Suggesting power and force, they overwhelm and illuminate otherwise moribund environments. But these are more than architectural structures. And as with many elements in Ormond’s paintings there is uncertainty and slippage underpinning the immediately evident. These illuminating structures suggest hope, and point to the supernatural. Relating to Ormond’s long standing interest in off-grid communities, the artist alludes to unseen forces that might be harnessed but are not necessarily fully understood or utilised.
Beneath all of this lies a complex set of knowing visual devices applied with technical expertise. The paintings are built on Euclidean axioms including horizon lines; vanishing points; and rectilinear grids, and material is applied variously from thinly poured paint to broad sweeping brush strokes to scrapings of paint residue from the artist’s palette. And again, these techniques are used to create conundrums as flat planes attempt to describe curved surfaces and rectangles become triangles. Such are the complexities that Ormond employs in order to present us with an impossible architecture of opposites.