About

This is the site of John Wilkinson, a contemporary artist living and working in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The work on these pages is all original artwork, produced by the artist (author) and copyright to the artist. My latest work forms the subject of my home page, and this will be regularly updated as fresh pieces are produced. ‘Gallery’ contains all my pieces, and additional pages detail the exhibitions I have participated in. The majority of work is for sale, and clicking on the images will reveal the sizes and prices (excluding transport costs) of all available pieces.  Should you wish to purchase any of my works, or discuss commissions, please contact me via the form on the ‘Contact me’ page.

As an artist I am fascinated by the relationship between us and our environment, how we have shaped it, and it has shaped us, and the unavoidable signs of this symbiotic process that litter our landscape. Living in a northern industrial city in a post-industrial climate, set in a wild and ancient landscape, the inexorable process of decay and reshaping that characterises the world of nature seems to have spilled over into the city, as the old falls out of use, decays, and is finally torn down as the city restructures itself.

I portray my world with paint. The medium is as important as the result; the tactility of paint being a key part of the process of communicating our reactions to living in the extremely tactile urban environment. The qualities of paint lend themselves well to my expression – it is both social and anti-social, angry and patient, bright and subdued, celebratory and critical. Paint draws it’s colours from the earth that humanity has trampled, manipulated and shaped to form the subjects I portray. I work with painting and palette knifes, usually mixing colours directly onto the canvas, and the energy I put into the process is reflected in the energy of the image. I work on 45mm deep block canvas, and prefer my work unframed and uncontained.

I welcome comments and constructive critiques, either about individual pieces or my work in general. Please feel free to leave them and I will endeavour to respond. Thankyou for viewing.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Your work is strong and engaging, John. I look forward to seeing more! I, too, am fascinated by decayed industrial sites. I wonder what it is in our psyches that find neglected and deteriorating buildings so compelling, if not beautiful? Regardless, your handling of the subject is quite inspiring to me, as I am attempting to push beyond my comfort zone into expressive painting. And so very sorry to hear of your health problems. I hope you recover fully soon. My very best – Carolyn

    • Thankyou Carolyn. Certainly for me the attraction of the decaying remains of our past is the weight of ‘might have beens’ contained within them. Derelict, most of their potential has gone, they exist in a state of non-being, a stage between two active lifetimes, rendering themselves open to both nostalgia and possibility. Nostalgia is tempered in the case of decaying industrial relics by the weight of hopes and aspirations placed upon them in the past. These buildings that were peoples livelihoods have ceased to fulfill that function, they have reached the end of development and progression, and by implication so too has the (at least local) expression of that industry. A good example of this are the poignant photos of the derelict remains of the car industry in Detroit – heartrending – but then, your photo of the store in Forks of Buffalo also achieves a similar poignancy, once again, for me, because it represents the end of a communities hopes?. I think also that there is a relationship between the power expressed by a relic when it was active, and how it is perceived when it is static. A factory or a steam engine seem like dinosaurs muted, the contradiction between their active and resting states so vast and the sublime fear that they might suddenly wake the source of the attraction 🙂 That’s my take on it anyway, for what it’s worth, but I am glad to know that the work has inspired you, if you do choose to paint decay you have an impressive selection of photos to help inform the work you produce, and I look forward to seeing where you go with it. Cheers. John

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