CHRISTOPHER LANGLEY

Artist’s Statement

Formally, my painting is a layering of patterns: interconnecting plants (from the Western Cape to Switzerland ), mountains and rock formations (especially the Cape fold mountains), clouds and the odd architectural detail; while using a restrained vocabulary of mark making. I exploit the different ways: oil, acrylic and enamel paints react to light ( through: tone, opacity/translucency and gloss/matt) especially when playing with depth. Some of my paintings almost require walking around and react to the changing of light throughout the day. This appeals greatly due to my background in sculpture.  Painters who inform this approach include: Klimt, Pierneef and Howard Hodgkin. An icon painting course I did (based on Russian and Greek icons) also informed my patterning habits, in particular the building up of the base for the icon and the layered construction of the image of the person depicted. The stylisation in Islamic carpets also intrigues me.  In a number of paintings I undermine the pattern, discovered through sketching and photographing my environs, and then seek to subtly re-emphasise that aspect of the landscape My fondness for landscape drew me to the Karoo and the forms of the Swartberg and I use my interest in nature and pattern making to explore relationships between characters; evoke moods and investigate ways of harmonising the often fragmentary and layered nature.