Ashley I, 2021 (FR)
New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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Graham Dean is a painter of identity. For Graham, the body is a 'holding-pen of emotions'. His protagonists are the receptacles of these emotions and memories, witnesses of the human condition and the complex human interaction with the world. His painting essentially becomes an investigation of the surfaced and the subconscious.
Using what he refers to as reverse archaeology, Graham revitalises the traditional watercolour technique: contrasting layers of paint are applied sequentially on thick handmade Indian paper, each sheet undergoes a process of tearing and overlapping to create a final composition, and correlates to the multilayering of the epidermis shielding human body. Graham masterfully uses thickness of the paper and sensual veils of watercolour, the transparency of the media. Artist's painterly vision and savoir-faire of the material and the process helps him to create evocative painted atmospheres in which his protagonists exist and interact, catching and escaping our gaze, as if suspended in watery and dreamy alternative worlds.