Original Art work by Richard Sunderland
In 2016 a Stroke was a life changing moment. Forty-one years as an Art Teacher ended. The drawings that were produced, pre-stoke and post-stroke, are realised in these canvases, and draw particularly on my reflective state over the last 18 months. A process of re-learning and re-discovery for my surroundings, my colours of Plymouth mixed possibly with my emotional state. My drawing and painting has always been about the phenomenon of using the visual elements. These lines, shapes, marks, tones, light and shadow, are intellectual property, unique to how observations and clear decisions are made, problems are resolved and the history of the mark making and the brushstrokes employed everything has a deliberate action and intent.
Dartmoor to the City is an ongoing visual project and possibly the source of a string of connected concepts for my work. Time, history and geography, Plymouth has evolved on Devonian Limestone formed 300,000 years ago. The stone has been quarried and used to create many of the surviving historic buildings of Plymouth. So the fabric of the City is important, as is the fabric of the land that surrounds us with shapes and forms created by the rivers Plym and Tamar, leading to the Sound.
Walking through the suburbs of Plymouth everything leads to the sea. With the canvas work for this exhibition, the palette attempts to replicate blue greys, purples, greens, ochres and more greys originating from the landscape. The sedimentation of the pigments mix and spread freely with a brush stroke making a trail or mark, as they dry they revert back to states which produce dramatic colour combinations, almost like the Devonian Limestone in the Royal William Yard, which was once sediment before it became stone.
All the seascape pieces currently relate to Plymouth Sound. These pieces date from a constant period of observation and experience, sketchbooking, drawing and photographing from different vantage points, Jennycliffe, Staddiscombe, The Hoe, Mount Batten and Mount Edgecumbe.
The cityscapes are based on Hyde Park Road. These pieces date from a period of observation and experience from early morning works to get a newspaper. The sketchbooks date from 2014. This walk became significant again in 2016/17 while learn to walk again. Collage is a feature of these paintings allowing elements to be embedded on the surface like fossils in limestone. A mix of visual elements, image, word or historic memories, a hidden figurative element, a sign that life goes on still in the suburbs.
Photograph by Eliot Siegel