At the heart of many of his landscapes have been mountains, rivers, brooks and streams, such as the rugged wilderness environments of Skye and the French Pyrenees. Enjoying great success with these works, Slavin has received praise from Roger Cox in The Scotsman and has exhibited them around the country including in Durham University, the Royal Scottish Academy and the midlands within the last year.
His newest body of work takes water as its focus, exploring in an ever more abstract style the dynamic forms of water: from pools to waterfalls to currents. These works see Slavin communing with some of the greatest painters of water: the painters of the Ancient Chinese Song Dynasty, including Guo Xi (1020 – c. 1090).
“Water, of course, is one of the most perplexing of subjects for an artist and Slavin takes the lead from his Ancient Chinese forebears and focuses on capturing its essence and spirit rather than depicting it in a purely realist fashion. It’s a great privilege to be able to show these innovative and poetic works at The Sutton Gallery” – Colin Herd, Co-director of The Sutton Gallery
One of the key differences between Chinese and Western painting is to be found in the employment of the “floating perspective” in Chinese painting. In this series of ink drawings and oil paintings, Slavin explores this device in a way that allows the viewer to seemingly experience multiple spatial perspectives at once, which allows a fuller and more liberated depiction of his subject matter.
Slavin studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1975-1980 under the tutelage of Peploe, Blackadder and Philipson. This training has enabled Slavin to truly free himself and make works that skillfully merge the poeticism of inner perception with the atmospheres of the natural environment:
“As an artist my capacity for perception has been increased by the arduous conditions of my sojourns. I have enjoyed sheer good luck and am at an age where my academic training is second nature and the sights I see seem already meaningful forms of inner experience. The creative powers in man equal those found in nature.” - John Slavin
John Slavin: New Works, an exhibition of oil paintings and ink drawings, opens at The Sutton Gallery for a preview on Friday 21st February at 6pm and continues from the 22nd February until the 12th March.
For more information contact Colin Herd on firstname.lastname@example.org and 07854972930