“Only connect!”E. M. Forster, Howards End
I came to painting still life in an almost accidental way.
In 1978 I went to live and work in Greece on the island of Crete expecting to continue on with the austere formalist abstract relief paintings I had been doing until then. Instead I encountered a complete and debilitating creative block that left me unable to work for six months.
In desperation I decided to go back to basics and started to make small paintings from the landscape and objects around me. It was meant to be a jumpstart back into the vein of my previous work. Instead it became ‘a habit that liked me and stayed’. It was a slightly guilty pleasure at first. Guilty because it seemed so retrogressive when compared to the work I had been trained for and to the work being made by most of my contemporaries. Pleasure though was the key word. It allowed me to take delight in the observation and transformation of small things in the world around me.
The small paintings of Greece gave way to much larger canvases on my return to Canada. The delight in observation continued but was joined by the physical pleasure that applying paint on a large scale afforded.
Now, more than forty years later, and joined by the richness and hindsights that interwoven memories and sensual experiences allow, the twin joys of applying paint and observing objects and their relationships are still my prime motive for painting.
We live in a world of echoes and interconnectedness and painting has become my means of exploring that world .
– Chris Broadhurst