August's Artwork of the Month has been chosen by Lucy Austin RWA. She has picked Earth, small version by Maurice Cockrill from the RWA Permanent Collection. Lucy writes:
I’ve chosen this painting by Maurice Cockrill because I am a huge admirer of his work and his process. He was a restless artist who famously destroyed all his previous work in 1968 and started again in his early thirties.
‘the artists I’ve admired most, like Picasso, are the protean ones, I’d rather be changing shape than just doing the same thing time after time’
I think this quote says a lot about his approach to his work. He stuck to painting when it became unfashionable and the new ideas around conceptual art and installation art came to the forefront of the art world. I think it paid off. I’m interested in the feeling of a search in his work, which I can identify with, because that’s what I’m also doing. I love the fact that he was a city dweller like me, and his work was rooted in landscape.
To me his creative journey was fascinating: starting from photo-realism in the 1970’s to a lyrical abstraction in later years of his life. This painting was made during this time in 1998. He began his career recording external landscapes with analytical accuracy and moved into what I think is a more interesting area of considering how the world is perceived through the senses, how we feel in our bodies, how we occupy space, how the appearance of the world touches us emotionally and how we delve into our memories of things seen and lived when confronting each situation. These considerations all resonate strongly with me, and the way I approach my own work.
He also made a series of paintings called ‘Divided’, which I am particularly fond of; compositionally they split the painting into two opposing forces, which work against each other – I have echoed this idea in my own series, which I called the Duologue series, although in my series the two parts of the image are communicating in some way.
Maurice Cockrill's painting will be on display on our upstairs landing throughout the month of August.