Dorset-based Gary Spratt explained: “The exhibition has come about after winning the Oxmarket Open Painting Prize. It will focus on my larger paintings made in the last couple of years. They are about our home, or anyone’s home, with tables, chairs, doorways and a variety of other items as their subject.
“What they mean is up to the viewer. However what they are to me is a way into making a painting. Its formal or abstract nature is in tension with a figurative idea, both of which come about during the making. But the things or objects in the images often carry personal meaning. For instance, the kitchen table my father made or my grandfather’s chairs feature prominently. There’s an idea about inheritance in that, in the things that we may bring forward.
“Sometimes I think that because I’m making images of the interior of my own house, that I’m painting my own safety net, as we are lucky to live in social housing.
“There are a lot of connections. I’m interested in animism, that things have stories and lodge themselves in our lives. Through the work I am both asking and answering my own questions, but in a way that opens up more questions. So it goes on.
“I stick to fairly basic materials, mostly oil on canvas or charcoal on paper. Although I favour oil paint, I don’t think that it really matters all that much with regard to the painting itself. Painting is slow, oil paint is slow to dry, so it works for me.
“I have been exhibiting my work for the last eight years.
“Particular highlights have been making it onto the short list for the Contemport British Painting Prize 2021, showing in London and Huddersfield. In 2022 I was invited to show at Bark Gallery in Berlin alongside some great painters, which was a real honour. I have also been part of the very popular Terrace Gallery mixed shows, in London, over the last few years. My work can be seen on Instagram at @gary.spratt71.”
Gary was born in 1971 in Poole, Dorset and attended Poole College in 1988 and then a Foundation Course at Shelley Park in Bournemouth in 1990: “These years were to prove a brief but important introduction to the world of art and painting in particular.
“My family home was one where people made things. My mother made window displays in a department store in Bournemouth and my father was a carpenter by trade and made much of the household furniture. There was great value set on the practical and the beautiful.
“I moved to rural West Dorset in 1991 with Maggie, my then girlfriend and now wife. There followed a near 20-year hiatus in making art while we raised a family of four children.
“In 2011 my interest in painting was rekindled. I built a studio in the garden, read extensively and gradually painting took over the focus of my time. I have work held in private collections both nationally and internationally.”
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