Engine House Paintings
Lluniau Ty Peiriant
Engine House Series
In my work I aim to create a resonance, a sense of time, of place of what might have been of what was and is. Mainly using landscape, I strive to evoke what lies beneath the surface both physically and metaphorically, to create expressive symbolic allegories of the lives lived, time spent, that which has brought us to where we are now and will influence where we go from here. Forgotten and remembered, truths, lies and perceptions.
These are the most recent painting in a series based around the ruins of old lead and zinc mines which briefly brought the most advanced technologies of the day to the rural backwaters of the mountains of Ceredigion.
Underlying the painted surface are pages from an old welsh family bible, a found object beyond repair. Symbolic of the importance of religion at the time of the industrial boom which still scars the landscape and linking into a recently discovered family connection which goes some way to explaining my fascination with these evocative and haunting ruins.
The palette used is dominated by shades of grey, in places layered to recreate the excrescences of the crumbling buildings other areas are more solidly textured to represent the heaps of poison filled spoil on which even the toughest and most resilient of vegetation fails to thrive. Metallic elements are incorporated to imitate the subtle beauties of the extracted metals and the dammed waters whose kinetic power was harnessed to the technology.
The Engine House painting incorporates areas of bright colour which represent the machines involved in the changing uses of one part of the mine, the oldest machines in soft shades of blue green, more recently red was favoured and over the last few decades an orange tinged yellow predominates.
Though initially based on rather dark themes, over time this series of paintings have developed from a semi representational abstraction towards distinctive shapes and textures which ultimately strive to balance and move towards harmony. Each piece is framed in such a way as to create a beautiful and integrated object, while, I hope, retaining its meaning.