Leaving the 20th Century
Art Critic, London
I tend to think of time as discontinuous whenever we enter
into the individual space occupied by an artist's vision. It's
inside this mental precinct that we discover the artist's ability
to convert his findings into a more durable pattern of universal
When Blake wrote, "Eternity is in love with the productions
of time", he was pointing to the insights available to those
who work in the given moment with the awareness of its magnitude.
In his art, Gareth
Lloyd has confronted the issues that continue to preoccupy his
discourse with the world. The modern crisis of the ruin of language
via commodification and media exploitation is one tension point
on which his work pivots, falling out of language we become dependent
on the visual signs rooted in the mytho-poetic. The artist's
work becomes that of the compensatory retrieval of the icon as
it appears in his particular time. Here we have traces of figures
as they resonate in the artist's psyche: Ned Kelly crossing the
Red Sea, private detectives who may have jumped out of a pulp
novel and the idea of the angel or psychopomp as the necessary
and luminous instructor to spiritual progress. In each case the
icon is re-visioned through erasure as a pointer sign-posting
the way in a progressively de-individualised ethos.
For all its post-modern complexity, the artist seems preoccupied
with the re-sanctification of the mediated individual as creator.
I mean this in the way that art, if it is to have durability,
should always represent an uncompromising challenge to any ideology
intent on suppressing forms of dissent. The trend of the late
20th century has been increasingly directed towards information
at the expense of vision: data as a substitute for the tentative.
The serene texture of Gareth Lloyd's paintings, conceal the
radical dissent of an artist who refuses to conform to the new
media hegemony. Drawing inspiration from the cinema, his prodigious
reading, the connecting points between mythic and representational
reality and the seething nucleus of West End energies in which
he lives, he is an artist working in his time with an alertness
to creating configurative patterns from emerging contemporary
myths. His art is a solitary one sustained by inner conviction
and the overriding belief that truth is best realised through
an inwardly achieved creative expression.
Facing the new century we're all disinherited from a sense
of the poetic. With real time increasingly invaded by its counterpart,
it's important not to lose sight of inner time and space with
its unending potential for imaginative discovery. The artist
needs that space and time, and Gareth Lloyd's paintings will
help familiarise you with its inner topology, a map leading to
the long trajectory of the cosmos.
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