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Chris Else

I am an artist who lives and works in Bath. I completed my Bachelors degree in Fine Art at Kingston University, London (2016) where I was awarded the Brian McCann prize in drawing. I then went on to complete a Masters programme at Bath Spa School of Art. I have exhibited in several exhibitions in London, including a group exhibition in the project space at Tate Modern. Through painting I explore themes of memory, temporality and transience. My paintings call for the viewer to slow down by creating a space of meditation and reflection.


Instagram: @chriselse



Artist Statement

My work explores the materiality and temporality within painting. I work slowly in order to engage with the materials, existing alongside them and allowing time for them to evolve. My process consists of applying paint in thin washes of colour, and then removing it in order to achieve a stained textured surface that integrates with the grain of the canvas. When there are no visible brush marks remaining, it appears as if the painting has always belonged there; rather than the painting being put on the canvas, it is engrained into the material. I am interested in the notion that a work of art can be a physical object in itself as well as a reflection of experience.


My practice explores the relationship between absence and presence. Through the contrasting application of paint, I create spaces of emptiness and fullness. Some forms recede into the planes of the canvas, whilst others come forward. I arrive at these forms organically, allowing them to reveal themselves.


These forms have been created as holding points for the viewer to focus on, allowing them to read the surface of the painting and establish a hierarchy within it. By removing any preconceived ideas of how a painting should look, it allows an individual painting to be produced in that moment and have its own identity.


My intentions when creating a painting are to become emerged with the creation of each canvas and to let it evolve naturally and not in a forced upon manner. The small scale paintings are intended to create a close relationship with the viewer, who stands at the same distance from the painting as I stood when painting it. I find the visual intimacy very curious: the viewer can become absorbed by a particular edge, application of paint or a certain subtlety within them. The subtlety of application and the soft muted tones create a space for the viewer to discover the paintings at a slow pace, as the more time the viewer spends with them the more they reveal. The paintings do not demand attention but are there for the viewer to reflect and explore the surfaces of them. 

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