CHARACTER OR IMAGE? - Exhibition held at the Riverhead Gallery in Louth, June 2022.

Is art for art’s sake or must it have a commercial tag of success attached to it, and lots of internet ‘likes’, in order for it to be worthy? This is not a new question, but it is a valid one. It was with this in mind that I chose ‘Character or Image?’ as a theme and title as this is related to perceived worth.

The exhibition explored the notion that ‘real art’ is where either the canvas or paper is completely filled with paint or dry medium, leaving no room for the imagination to work and appreciate subtle nuances. Many regard drawing and ‘incomplete’ work as precursors to the ‘real art’ when in fact they can be, and often are, beautiful and/or thought-provoking works of art themselves. This approach allows me the freedom to immediately respond to a subject and express it in its most raw and fresh state; art where what is expressed goes beyond the image.

I chose to display the work in an unconventional way, namely glorified noticeboards, to encourage a closer examination.
"The good painter has to paint two principal things, that is to say, man and the intention of his mind. The first is easy and the second difficult, because the latter has to be represented through gestures and movements of the limbs." (MK388)

From: Leonardo da Vinci: The Graphic Work, p16, J Nathan and F Zöllner

As the quote suggests Leonardo da Vinci has had a great influence on my work, along with many others from 19th century through to contemporary artists, so many that the list would be very long. However, I shall mention George Bellows, John Singer Sargent, Egon Schiele, Emil Nolde’s use of colours, as well as Abstract Expressionism, Clyfford Still in particular, as some of my main influences.

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© Gudrun Ståhl Sharpley, LN11 9WE. Please contact me by using the contact form if you wish to use any of my images.

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