Untitled by Leslie Michael Darlington
SPIRITED VISIONS an exhibition by 5 self-taught artists
17 May – 17 June 2011
Spirited Visions brings together the work of five self-taught artists whose drawings and paintings bring to life a captivating variety of scenes and characters from memory and imagination. Using unconventional methods and materials, these passionate and prolific creators work outside the confines of the mainstream artworld, without rules or inhibitions, their spontaneous eruptions of creativity producing works free from the influence of other artists.
Leslie Michael Darlington draws daily, recording characters and events from his life. Market stalls, cafes, street scenes, evangelists, buskers and fighters – all are documented in Elton’s vivid sketches. His mother’s death in 2004 prompted him totake up art, a pastime he enjoyed as a child, but had not practised since. Currently living in Manchester, Elton draws on the experience of a colourful life which has included time on the streets and a career as a wrestler.
Marion Duffy started painting in 2007 and soon developed a very personal style of expression. Duffy paints mysterious works on canvas that read like multi-layered stories. In Duffy’s highly detailed works, myth and magic meet, faces merge with landscapes and hidden symbols are slowly revealed.
Raymond Morris began painting in his early thirties in response to a spiritual presence in his life. Every surface of his home is decorated -abstract motifs adorn his ceilings and the colourful walls are covered with paintings and drawings that span almost thirty years of creation. Piles of sketchbooks contain drawings that range from simple abstract works to complex portraits. Morris has explored oil and acrylic, ink and watercolour, as well as audio recordings of improvised music.
Stylie was evacuated from the British colony of Montserrat in 1997 when the Soufiere volcano erupted. He was among many Rastafarian islanders who were forced to leave their homes and relocate to England. Recognised as an artist on Montserrat, Stylie turned his tribulations into artistic expression. In England, he turned to painting to express himself and cope with displacement. His works draw on his life history, friends, members of his Rasta community.
Shafique Uddin was born in Bangladesh and emigrated to Britain at the age of nine. He has since lived and worked in East London. Uddin has been painting sincechildhood. Memories of his early life in Bangladesh and his experiences of living in London inspire the creation of his imagery. Uddin paints daily and has developed a distinctive, lyrical style – waves of colour, painted layer upon layer, give way to figures and forms floating in lush vegetation.
Julia Elmore, Exhibition Curator
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