Today, I sat in on a meeting between the curator – Chris Millward and the artist – John Renshaw. They were meeting to finalise some of his photographs that are going into the exhibition and to talk about what needs to be done between now and the 12th of May. John says that he is to networking as Pavarotti was to hang-gliding. This will be his first solo exhibition and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him about his work, he paints and draws for the sheer joy of it, not looking for approval, he has merely been absorbed in his work just for him.
The photographs that are going to be included are much like some of the photographs that I have taken of residual marks, they are his observations from the physical world and they relate to his paintings but not literally. He has hundreds, maybe thousands of photographs on his computer but it interested me to find out that these are not then translated literally into the paintings, but are there as almost visual research. They are fantastic photos looking at the everyday aesthetic and its interesting to see that he has similar sensibilities. Just looking at some of them, he lights up, completely fascinated by a shadow that was cast from an altar in a Parisian church years ago.
In talking about his paintings, he says that he automatically creates them, working not from the photographs but making creative decisions on his mind. He also resists abstraction, in that it’s not going on in the traditional sense but that everything connects to each other, he sees his work as resonating with some sort of visual experience so that the viewer can construct the meaning of the work for themselves.
One of the other aims of this exhibition, in terms of Chris’s Mres, it to gauge peoples responses to the work, by creating a questionnaire for people to fill out as well as inviting people to view the work in different settings such as a gallery, studio and cafe.
At this point the list of things that need doing are- catalogue, invitation, press release and the curation
This is a link to a project that he has been doing for Bangor University In which they have all picked A piece of artwork and then worked from it, not copying but interpreting and responding from. He chose Giorgio Morandi and his work based on it can be found on this website.
This is the link to his own website.