About Caron & Gordon Coldwell

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Caron Coldwell

Following my graduation, I worked primarily as a 'Colourist' painter, interested in capturing and conveying the memory of places - see Earlier Works examples.

Most of my recent works are a significant departure from the preoccupations in earlier work, albeit that my painterly/mark-making abilities and use of colour remain self evident. I think my more recent decorated paper cast spoons, utensils and pots works successfully blur the boundaries between fine art and craft – thematically, these works reference e.g. history, costume, style, TV, cinema etc... imagery that provokes a kind of cultural nostalgia.

Each work results from layering torn newspaper that is pasted onto various cutlery items and ceramic vases... then, when dry, the paper is separated from its mold ... each feather weight cast piece then has collage and acrylic paint added to the surface as a final stage..

The framed works have a museum exhibit quality and, when viewed in close up, they delight in their cheerful, icon-like, nostalgic familiarity.  Each work is a labour of love... certainly a long time in the making.  The decorated paper vase works both complement and contrast the framed pieces. All of these works conjure up a ‘smile in the mind’ triggered by the familiarity of the imagery set in surprising contexts.

Some of my art heroes:

Peter Blake, Will McLean, Scottish Colourists, Giorgio Morandi, Joseph Cornell, Joan Eardley, Grayson Perry, Tom Philips.

Exhibitions

Since graduationg I have exhibited and sold work in solo and group shows at: Bridgwater Arts Centre, Ilminster Arts Centre, The Sugar Cube Gallery, The Great Bow Wharf (Langport), Artifex Gallery (Sutton Coldfield) , Thelma Hulbert Gallery (Honiton)… and CICCIC (Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton).

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Gordon Coldwell 

Background

I was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK) in 1954. My mother was Dutch and could draw well. Both of these facts are significant in terms of influences and experiences.

As a teenager, my summer holidays were spent in the Dutch seaside town of Scheveningen (my mother’s birthplace). We would stay with my grandmother and visit relatives... great uncles who collected stamps and painted everyday objects in the style of 17th-century artists... an uncle who was a graphic designer. They had landscape and still life paintings on their walls. 

Scheveningen is close to the Hague and Amsterdam an easy train journey away. Both places have world-famous art galleries that I visited with a Dutch cousin. To this day, my experience of seeing Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and standing in front of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch has stayed with me. 

My art teacher at secondary school was a graduate of Newcastle University. He had been taught by Richard Hamilton (Pop Artist) and Victor Pasmore (Formal Abstraction). We went to exhibitions at the University’s Hatton Gallery to see exhibitions of work by Kurt Schwitters (Merz/Dada Art) and John Heartfield (Anti Nazi Montage/Collage Art).

All of these early experiences had a major impact on my career choice and still inform the artworks I make.

Practice

My work might broadly be described as ‘Art About Art’ - it is multi-layered in construction and in potential meaning.

I make my artworks by importing pictorial content into two kinds of image manipulating software, the composition is then constructed, developed and finessed digitally. 

I often utilise elements taken from classic 'Old Master' paintings, re-presenting them in new contexts and relationships. 

By fusing history with contemporary additions, I work with the iconic and the cultural, merging them to create new narratives. I quote from the art of the past so as to reinterpret a way of seeing and thinking that I associate with artists as disparate as Vermeer, Velasquez, Ingres, Manet, Duchamp and Richard Hamilton etc. My artworks are, in part, referential in their intent rather than simply appropriated or copied from masterworks. My imitation is a sincere form of flattery. In addition to explicit references, some may find humour in my alterations. By leaving out familiar elements or by adding new elements to known works, or reconfiguring components within them, much of my work is a visual commentary.

Viewers often recognise 'familiar' elements in my re-imagined compositions. However, seeing them in unexpected and surprising compositions can lead to a reassessment of the original... and a 'smile in the mind' in witnessing the new.

All of my artworks have the potential to be produced on a very large scale.

Art Heroes

Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Vermeer, Frans Hals, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Diego Velasquez, George Stubbs, Théodore Gericault, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, Andrew Wyeth, Victor Pasmore, Jim Dine, Larry Rivers, Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake, George Deem.

Exhibitions

I have exhibited (and on occasions won awards) at Worthing Museum & Art Gallery (West Sussex), Ilminster Arts Centre, The Tacchi Morris Centre (Taunton), The Sugar Cube Gallery (Hambridge), The Great Bow Wharf (Langport), Artifex Gallery (Sutton Coldfield) , Thelma Hulbert Gallery (Honiton), Black Swan Arts Centre (Frome), The Atkinson Gallery (Millfield), Evolver Cover Exhibitions (Wessex), Bernie Grant Centre (Tottenham), Blue Cedar Printworks Gallery (Glastonbury)… and CICCIC (Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton).

Abbreviated CV - Education and Career

Born Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire 1958

Foundation Course in Art & Design - Bridgwater College 1990-91     

BA Hons. Degree in Fine Art - Plymouth University 1991-95       

Associate Lecturer in Art & Design - Bridgwater College 1995-2006

Art Support Staff - Chilton trinity School 2006 - 2011

Full-Time artist 2011 - Present

Abbreviated CV - Education and Career

Born Newcastle upon Tyne 1954

Bachelor of Education Hons Degree - Warwick University 1976

Art Teacher - Saintbridge School, Gloucester 1976-78

Art & Design Lecturer - West Sussex College of Design 1979-86

Head of Art, Design & Media - Bridgwater College 1987-1996

Marketing Manager - Bridgwater College 1996 - 2007

Owner of I More Than Brand - Marketing Business 2007-2014

Full-Time artist 2014 - Present

Buying Work

Many of the works displayed in the Artworks section of the website are for sale or can be bought by ordering a 'unique evolution' of a piece.  Artworks cannot be purchased directly on-line. 

If you are interested in buying or commissioning work, you can make direct contact with Gordon & Caron by email and/or phone. Please go to the Buying and/or Contact pages to find out more.

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