Showing: August 26th – 12th October 2016
Upstairs Gallery, Stoke on Trent, UK.
Taking the nature of imagination itself as subject matter, Darren John’s latest works continue to explore the value of the untamed creative spirit and the centrality of this mind set in artistic expression.
Upstairs Gallery are pleased to present ‘Parallel’, a new exhibition by Darren John continuing his exploration of the value of the untamed creative spirit.
John’s new works aim to celebrate creativity and the liberated imagination through an action focussed approach that favours the stark contrast between the dark and the light. This approach to image-making nods towards a notion of the mind and hand acting as one entity and these horizontally applied works embrace an organic unpredictability, relinquishing a portion of control to gravity.
By creating these works with this first time approach, this series not only invites us to join John on his quest for unbound creative liberty, but also captures and lays bare the story of the physical process of the works, in three dimensional form.
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Darren John’s primary concern as an artist is the value of creative imagination and it’s suppression in everyday life. There is a sense of awe and wonder innate to childhood that persists in life despite a tendency for this spirit to be curtailed in adulthood. For the child that has not learnt where the boundaries are supposed to lie, the imagination remains limitless. John’s project is to make tangible that sense of unchained creative freedom.
John’s recent work takes the imagination itself as subject. These are not paintings of places or events, rather the canvas operates as a window into the mind of the painter. Cryptic and imposing yet playful, John’s visual language channels the mind set of creativity in all its spontaneity. His iconography and abstract forms collide and coexist without explanation like impulsive thoughts in the psyche. A roguish sense of enigma pervades in the work that reflects the endless complexities of thought in the free imagination. As viewers, we are invited to decipher this aura of mystery and in doing so we must engage with the artist’s vision on its own terms. At this point, we too have left our dimension behind and have arrived in a parallel realm of our own unbound creative imagination.