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Tracks, Trails and Tarmac Nick Bodimeade 15 OCTOBER - 30 OCTOBER 2016


TRACKS, TRAILS AND TARMAC: NEW PAINTINGS BY NICK BODIMEADE Paintings, at their best, are experience. The works by Nick Bodimeade comprising Tracks, Trails and Tarmac embody this axiom in the most compelling way. They speak in a resonant poetry of the rush and visual bloom of moving at pace through the world – the inky swell of shadows and the sudden glare of sunlight, the twisting counterpoint of bends coming up to meet us and the punctuating stab of detail defined… These paintings explore and extend the thematic that Bodimeade launched in his B Roads exhibition in the Autumn of 2013, based on the sensations of driving through the relentless picturesque of Sussex lanes. This project, as it turned out, led Bodimeade to rediscover his inner cyclist who has ever since continued the searching trek on- and off-road, around rural Sussex but also further afield – and Bodimeade’s periodic travels have continued to extend across Europe, the United States and Africa). The strain and dash of pumping road and mountain bike around provides for a rapid, direct and energetic engagement with the landscape, somewhat at odds with the cliché of the artist tethered to an easel before the subject. But this slalom, through the changing aspect of the view, furnishes an abundant source of glancing images - a well spring of ideas for paintings. So, Bodimeade is driven equally by a voracious visual consumption (the accumulation of glimpse after glimpse) and a powerful appetite for knowing the world bodily (a kind of muscular landscape choreography).

And the excitement of this energised, first-hand interrogation of what the land can offer the painter is rendered through a commensurate panache in painterly methodology. Bodimeade’s wealth of knowledge of the art of painting, its history and more especially the critical contemporary embrace of lensbased imagery as source material, is crucial, as is his fencer’s attack of mark making. He has a sure instinct for processing the raw data of photographic ‘snaps’ into dynamic abstractions that construct two-dimensional armatures for holding the space of the canvas open, making an arena for the daring performance in paint – poised, breathy, committed, exhilarating. For those interested, the discourse with ideas and significant artists in these paintings is evident and rich. They are knowing. They deliver the injection of adrenaline missing from so many of Opie’s tasteful distillations of road and journey and the specificity edited out of Katz’s broad brushes with landscape (…and for my money these flavours of vision-in-motion are more visceral and convincing than Hockney’s returns to scenic North Yorkshire). They appear as bold excursions into Merleau-Ponty’s notion of the embodied phenomenology of perception… But enough of pedigree… reading and reference are not necessary to ‘get’ these paintings - they touch the parts of sensation that other paintings often fail to reach – they have to be felt to be believed. In short, they take the breath away.

Christopher McHugh August 2016.

B132A oil on canvas 40 x 45 cm

B133A oil on canvas 35 x 40 cm

B148A oil on canvas 70 x 86 cm

B144A oil on canvas 61 x 66 cm

B145A oil on canvas 71 x 76 cm

B149A oil on canvas 30 x 35 cm

B143A oil on canvas 66 x 76 cm

B137 oil on canvas 41 x 46 cm

B163 (TOP)


B139A (TOP)


oil on canvas 51 x 56 cm

oil on canvas 34 x 41 cm

oil on canvas 25 x 30 cm

oil on canvas 51 x 56 cm

B108 oil on canvas 66 x 77 cm

B135A oil on canvas 30 x 35 cm

B124 oil on canvas 36 x 41 cm

NICK BODIMEADE SELECTED SOLO SHOWS St Annes Galleries, Lewes, ‘Tracks, Trails and Tarmac’ Zimmer Stewart Gallery, Arundel, ‘Southern Winds’ St Annes Galleries, Lewes, ‘B Roads’ Porthminster Gallery, St Ives, ‘From Here’ Zimmer Stewart Gallery, Arundel, ‘Standing, Sitting, Walking, Lying’ St Annes Galleries, Lewes, ‘Chromide Street’ Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden, ‘Sometimes a Blob’ Hybrid, Honiton ‘Recent Paintings’ St Annes Galleries, Lewes, ‘Winnebago’ Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden, ‘Onomatopoeia’ Zimmer Stewart Gallery, Arundel, ‘Beach Geometry’ HQ Gallery, Lewes, ‘Dwelling’ Star Gallery, Lewes, ‘A Day Last Summer’ Phoenix Gallery Brighton SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, ‘Towards Night’ Caxton Gallery, Whitstable Porthminster Gallery, St Ives St Annes Galleries, Sarah O,Kane Fine Art, London Art Fair Four Square Fine Art, London Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Winchester Chalk Hill Fine Art, Guildford Corridor Gallery, London StArt Gallery, AAF, Paris Fabrica, Brighton Chiltern Sculpture Trust, Oxford Contemporary Art Society, London

B183 oil on canvas 105 x 120 cm (detail)

B184 oil on canvas 105 x 120 cm (detail)


111 HIGH STREET, LEWES, EAST SUSSEX BN7 1XY Mobile. 07777 691 050

'Tracks, Trails and Tarmac' by Nick Bodimeade  
'Tracks, Trails and Tarmac' by Nick Bodimeade