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JONATHAN PURDAY | NEW ORIGINAL PAINTINGS

January 4th 2013
I’ve said this before, but if I had to choose one component that brings Jonathan Purday’s oil paintings together as a body of work it would be the beautiful use of contrasting light, and his new series - titled ‘Forgotten Tourism’ - is no exception. Based on scenes the artist has experienced in and around Portugal’s Algarve area, these pieces tell the story of times gone by and depict what appear to be desolate locations, devoid of human existence.

In Pitch, an open space with falling down goal posts at each end sits abandoned, the tall trees that surround it almost leaning away in shame. An apartment building which Purday calls the Sun Machine (a reference perhaps to the intense light that seems to exude from the surface of building and subsequently also that of the canvas) appears to have no glass in the windows. There is some sign of life here with the presence of the odd curtain but aside from this it’s like a ghost town. Despite the lonely feel to these works, Purday’s signature palette of vibrant colours stands in the way of them becoming scenes of sadness; instead, they’re like discarded family photos; nostalgic portraits of good times that have passed.

As with previous works from Purday which have been known to reference film, there’s somewhat of a photographic sense to these pieces as well. In Fleet the sunlight beams from behind one of the iron anchors that form the Barril Beach memorial. The scene is like a holiday snap taken after a day in the sea just as the sun is going down.

Having explored his immediate surrounding area through painting while he was living in Portugal for a short period during 2010 and 2011, and then later focussing on the forced collision of ancient and modern civilizations in Marrakech as a result of tourism, both ideas are combined here to form this recent series. This coming together of ideas is important in terms of an artist’s development; I’m excited to see where Purday goes from here, and as long as he keeps the light, I don’t mind.

ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
 
JONATHAN PURDAY JONATHAN PURDAY
Sun Machine Pitch
 
JONATHAN PURDAY
Fleet
 
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