My paintings begin as a dialogue, both with a particular Folk Tale and also with an image from art history – often a painting by an Old Master that may then be used as a starting point from which to playfully but reverently deviate. I am interested in how stories are retold and re-imagined, and how the retelling alters and embellishes the original even as it seeks to render it vital and alive once again for a new audience.
My works are linked to the narratives and stories that I encounter during my work as an Art Psychotherapist with teenagers, many of whom have tales of neglect and abuse. These stories have very little trouble attaching themselves to Folk Tales, since the themes of the two; loss and abandonment, the violence of parental figures, oral greed, transformation and renewal, naturally merge into each other.
Paint is poured and manipulated to create areas of thick and crusted surfaces, that are allowed to wrinkle and pock mark as the various mediums used dry out. Once this process has reached a certain point, the image is again finely adjusted to create areas of shadow and recession, to a point where a form may begin to emerge, but hopefully not too much. This ability to be in two worlds at once, the past and the present, the abstract and the figurative, the imagined and the real, is what interests me and sustains me as an artist.
Iain Andrews was born in 1974 and lives in Manchester, UK. He studied painting at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and art psychotherapy at Sheffield University. Andrews’ work mixes the colour palette of contemporary abstract painting with the cracked paint and varnish associated with Renaissance masters and nostalgic Victorian painting, from which he also appropriates various compositional and figurative elements. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, with his most recent show being in Beijing, China, and he has also won several awards including the Marmite Prize for painting and National Art Open and has work in several private and public collections including Walsall Art gallery, Warrington Art gallery, Progressive Collection, Ohio and Yantai Art Museum, China.