Principles of Landskip – Paintings by Bryan Hawkins at UKC Keynes College

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Principles of Landskip – Paintings by Bryan Hawkins at UKC Keynes College -October till December 7th 2007

The title of this exhibition Principles of Landskip is derived from the titles of two writings by the landscape painter Alexander Cozens (1717-1786). This hybrid title brings together the search for underlying systems and Landskip a term which evokes the past, the romantic and the antiquarian and perhaps more contemporary conditions.

In Principles of Beauty Relative to the Human Head Cozens attempted to define certain conventions and rules relating to beauty. In An Essay to Facilitate the Inventing of Landskips Cozens drew on Leonardo da Vinci’s writings to suggest a method by which blots and marks could provide a stimulus for landscape image making . This essay in particular has, since 1759, contributed to aesthetic debate and interest in abstraction, chance, visual language, dream, drawing, mark and gesture and representation of landscape.

In the series of paintings exhibited here my engagement has been with the landscapes of The Lake District and more recently Thanet and Margate. My involvement has also been with a mixed bag of artists and writers (artist/writers) who have employed, invented, charted and constructed their response to landscape through image making and through writing. Ruskin, Palmer, Turner, Cotman, and Constable – my taste has been mainly for the C19 Century – Sutherland and Piper and Craxton and others are there too – as influences and lenses. Words and images, artists and landskips.

If looking at landscape is conventionally understood as the starting point for painting landscapes – and the meanings to be found within the paintings produced the points of arrival – then I am interested in reversing this process. Looking at landscape, as though retrieving a lost sensibility or inner landscape or finding the possibility of a coherent sense of self in landscape becomes a point of arrival – the analysis of existing texts and images, as maps, or traces becomes a point of departure. The act of painting makes everything more complicated and moves, restlessly, between these points.

Bryan Hawkins
Hawkins, Bryan (bryan.hawkins@canterbury.ac.uk)

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