MOSTYN Open 21 Exhibition Award-winner Richard Wathen’s solo exhibition comprises a new series of paintings.
Rooted in the historical canon of painting, Wathen’s work focuses largely on portraiture, depicting figures in states of hesitation and contemplation: listening at walls, pretending to sleep, moon bathing, or engaging in other apparent states of uncertainty.
Wathen’s works depict the tumultuous and complex array of human emotions, from anxiety and sorrow to despair brought on by the socio-economic pressures of contemporary living. The intensity created through the use of small details is powerful and emotional as an expressive gesture. His works subvert the genre of figurative painting through a bold play between figuration and abstraction, between the solid density of the matt surface and the fragility of the figures represented.
The subjects depicted often derive from a collision of image, thought, sound and memory, which over time, come together in an intuitive way. Following the cubist concept of a multitude of viewpoints in time, each figure remains in a state of constant flux, beyond the here-and-now. Their age, gender and gestures are left ambiguous, open to an irreversible position of hesitation and insecurity. By refusing to be fixed in time and place, Wathen’s work offers an investigation into the human condition in an age where an image is considered a proxy for a sentient being.
The exhibition has been curated by Alfredo Cramerotti, MOSTYN's Director.