34 INTERVIEW Nicholas Griffin
ith a sophisticated eye for palette and composition, Nicholas Griffin’s paintings draw in the viewer with their intriguing snippets of narrative, alluding to half-forgotten personal histories and dreamlike memories.While often depicting figures, it is the objects within his work which often hold emotive importance to the artist; however which object or objects in particular within the painting is another part of the puzzle left for the observer to ponder. Through his investigations in paint he is conjuring up a visual conversation, which in turn results in the final images being greater than the perimeters of the frame. Having recently graduated from art school, Griffin has continued to develop his practice independently. How long have you been painting, and have you found your style changing within this time? Well I was drawing on the walls at three years old so I suppose I started pretty young but painting seriously and consciously I would have to say around eight years. Stylistically the work has changed a great amount, less so more recently but I feel this has something to do with your focus and possibly life situation. Looking back to when you are at high school you are told what to look at and what to do in order to get the grades, it’s a similar situation at college but then at University it’s up to you and now being one year out of university it quite literally is all up to me. That freedom can be daunting in many ways because if you are restless in your creative energy, which I think to an extent, I am. You can find yourself searching for something else - it’s only more recently I am seeing the
beauty in really getting down to the nitty gritty of your subject matter and delving deep within in it. Change is necessary though otherwise the work stagnates but it has be natural not forced, I think. A huge moment for me was going to the Turner Prize in 2010 and seeing Dexter Dalwood’s paintings in the flesh, In particular ‘Death of David Kelly’. I remember looking at his work and realising how far I had to go. I became so much more aware of paint application, colour balance, composition and so on, instead of being caught up solely with the idea itself which at that age I think you are. How to make the work credible became my obsession and still is; you always pit yourself against people you respect. In that sense your self-criticism increases as well as your selfawareness of the work in a contemporary context and consequently that will usually result in some sort of change. It’s never ending.
Published on Nov 30, 2017
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