From November to December 2018, 1793 Gallery are delighted to announce that we shall be exhibiting the work of Mike England.
Mike England’s work reflects his belief that the more you learn the less you know. “I’m into paint”, he says simply. “Painting on canvas. It’s as old as the hills”. Indeed, there is nothing clever about the paintings, no point of reference on which the viewer may hang concepts, and thereby feel intelligent. In place of cleverness, there is rigour and humility in the face of this ancient medium.
Mike is a filter for his environment. He works in a small studio in East London. Through his window he tracks the changing light of a big sky, he absorbs the hub and motion of urban life.
The canvasses are each a map of Mike’s quest for visual harmony. They reflect the harmony in the object world; the balance and tension between colour, texture and line; between order and chaos, flux and stasis. Vertical stripes may recall the migrating bands of TV sets, those alternative windows through which we view the world. They may also remind us the inherent delay of perception, of the relationship between time and distance.
Mike’s work is non-referential. It aspires to pure feeling. If we can look at the paintings as we apprehend music or gaze at the sea, or watch an electric storm, then we become accessible to them.
The floating blocks of colour, the soft yellows and blues and the vibrant reds, the successive layers of paint, create an ethereal quality, a sense of shifting motion. Mike wishes to blur the boundaries of perception. The eye floats across the canvas. It will not find a recognizable image, a focal point generating meaning. This is the vocation of advertising and Mike’s work is the opposite of advertising. “If advertising images are signs attached to meaning then Mike’s paintings cut images off from meaning so that they may float away like balloons.”