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JONATHAN PURDAY | NEW ORIGINAL PAINTINGS

June 19th 2016
Jonathan Purday’s new series of paintings see him return to a subject he studied previously, the iconic Majorelle Gardens of Marrakech.

Something that very much draws you in with Jonathan Purday’s work is the beautiful vibrancy of the colour palette. Almost always portraying a sunny day with clear blue skies, it’s hard not to feel uplifted by its presence, as the contrasting light and shadows painted in the artist’s signature smooth block style transport you into his world.

The three new paintings we’re presenting today - Majourelle Noon, Red Path, and Find A Better Place to Stay 2 - have been developed using photographs and sketches taken on Purday’s most recent trip to Marrakech last year, and see him continue to explore the ongoing relationship between art, architecture and tourism as observed on visiting the famous Majourelle Gardens which sit in the centre of the city. Purday has been fascinated by this oasis of calm since his first holiday there in 1998, and then again in 2011 which inspired works such as Find a Better Place to Stay the following year. A small series of works followed, which were popular and subsequently sold after being exhibited online and at art fairs.

After a period of turning his focus to the British landscape and a collection on singular trees viewed upwards from below - which resulted in his first two screenprint editions from 2015, Meditation in Red and Canopy Memories - Purday’s attention has recently returned to the secluded botanical gardens of the Moroccan city. Designed by French artist Jacques Majorelle during the 1920s and 1930s, the gardens are a creative masterpiece. A distinctive cobalt blue has been used on buildings, walls and on paths, which can be seen in all three of Purday’s new canvas works. In Find A Better Place to Stay 2, Purday elaborates on its smaller predecessor, this time making a larger painting that’s square in format. The characteristic blue, which has become known as ‘bleu Majorelle’, can be seen here in the area that surrounds the lake, which Purday beautifully reiterates in the water itself.

Majourelle Noon and Red Path show the garden in all its glory, with towering trees and cactuses leading towards the distinctive blue-painted holiday homes, one of which was famously owned by the late French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent. New to this body of work is a human presence, which in the past Purday has generally abstained from including. I like this addition, for me it puts things into context, making the surroundings more true to life and obtainable almost, and less like some kind of fantasy land.

With an overall sense of positivity, Purday’s work never disappoints, and these large scale works are no exception. See them in more detail here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
JONATHAN PURDAY
Majorelle Noon
 
 
JONATHAN PURDAY JONATHAN PURDAY
 
 
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