Philip Cuttell

Meanwhile Time Passes

Bankside Gallery: Rising Artists, Jackson's Painting Prize 2023
107 x 91 cm


“The figure is an endlessly fascinating and rewarding subject for the painter.

Our bodies encapsulate us as a machine for living, but also are a repository for our innermost thoughts and feelings. Like it or not, we repose in our imperfect bodies through good and ill.

This existentialist predicament is what I would like, ultimately, to be able to convey, through my chosen medium of pigments mixed in oil and smeared on canvas.

Hockney describes painting as ‘an account of looking over time’, and the Euston Road School of painting described the ‘hard won image’ where the mark-making gradually accumulates until it describes the painter’s perceptions. I am attracted to both these ideas, particularly the way moving a mark a fraction of a millimetre in the face creates a totally different likeness or mood.

I am also interested in the creation of the envelope of space and light which surrounds us, and makes the sitter believable as an entity.

For me, good portraiture has to combine all these elements – a nigh on impossible task, and for this very reason such an enjoyable challenge.”