Stuart Luke Gatherer (born 1971)

"The foundation of my work as a figurative painter is rooted in the western tradition.The study of the human figure and human psychology are the central themes to my work.

I would like to think that my paintings entice the viewer to interact with contemporary scenes from the vantage point of an unseen onlooker thereby creating a psychological ambiguity that is emphasised by strong forms and colours modelled in dramatic light and shade. In the more complex paintings the narrative is left untold. Merely Illustrating a story is of no interest to me. I want to walk the knife’s edge between fracture and narrative: between illustration and formal aesthetics, between what the composition says and what the paintwork says. The surface has to be self-referential as well as being a visual language. I want to leave the viewer to find their own solutions; to allow free reign to the imagination; to force them to extend the painted moment into both the past and future.

Above all I want the paintings to show my continuing obsession with paint as substance. Each work is built up in numerous layers, thick and thin, transparent and opaque - every layer building on the previous and informing the next. It is the sheer physicality and brute practicality of pigment on a flat surface that entrances me far more than mere reportage."

- Stuart Luke Gatherer

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