Creating a visual impact that stimulates the beholder is a hard feat for any accomplished artist and this challenge implores the contemporary artist to develop new dynamic ways in which to compel and engage viewer experience. Set to open his exhibition ‘The Journey So Far…’ at London’s The Framers Gallery this October, Brian Parker offers art of deceptively simple appearance whose bold flat colours, strong sense of abstract and figurative pattern and thematic content illustrates the powerful effect of simplification.
Following a fateful working encounter with David Hockney whilst acting as exhibitions director at the first Bradford Arts Festival and later talking over fish and chips before a visit to a drag queen revue bar, Parker admired Hockney’s free approach to painting and this inspiration was to stay with him for the next fifty years and carve out a love for the boundless, retrospective style of art that he exhibits now – a style of work that few can emulate, but can now aim to collect.
Working primarily with acrylic paint on paper and canvas, Parker’s work indulges in colour, an effect that is both striking and immersive for the viewer. Describing his typical painting approach, Parker comments “I use only rulers, pencils and mainly flat brushes which help to paint clean edges. My need for precision and rich, intense colour often requires 2 to 4 coats of paint, meaning that my process is quite slow and painting takes from 6 to 12 weeks to complete.”
Parker’s October exhibition will take a retrospective angle on his own life, incorporating influences from music, an analytical perspective of work and career and home life. This thematic layout of the exhibition will take viewers through an immersive story, where they can experience elements of Brian’s life and find reflections of their own day-to-day lives.
A working life that has focused on scientific and numerical data as a scientist and PhD holder in Engineering, Parker’s attention to detail and love for precision is made very clear in his painting technique. Parker’s involvement with music and dance is also exhibited in his work. Parker’s emphasis on the music, dance and art triad stems from his time as lead singer/songwriter of a rock band and his experience as a contemporary dancer, of which he has described as one of the most ‘defining’ things in his life.
The iconic-ism that music and dance has on culture is pinpointed in the exhibition, illustrated in works such as ‘Imagine Peace’ that references the influence on culture made by The Beatles, and Parker uses this to express the fundamental connection between all three creative platforms. A wealth of understanding in the impact that music has on the body, Parker has had involvement with musical fame, including Maria Nayler, Hayley Crammer (Pop Evil) and Robert Horwell. In his work Parker also demonstrates the limitless breadth of dance, where he relates the expenditures of the body – such as his own experiences of rock climbing – to the act of dance, commenting that the determination and movement of the activity is “a complex form of dance on a vertical plane.”
This multi-faceted notion of dance allows Parker to create a visual representation of music, where he can transfer the sensory effects that music has on the body into his paintings. The relationship between how various sounds evoke different feelings within us and in turn, effect our creative processes, radiates through Parker’s depictions of movement and expression through his theme of dance and music. Followed by day-to-day themes of work and home life, Parker’s ‘The Journey so Far…’ exhibition will offer an immersive experience ranging from the figuratively to the purely abstract. An exhibtion this year not to be missed.
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