Contemporary British artist Jeremy Houghton creates artworks that depict the dynamic world. He paints sport, journeys and adventure to explore the essence of motion, favouring themes of light, space, transience and change. The subjects and places that characterize these scenes are illuminated by the way that he shapes the spaces between things, and the spaces in which bodies linger, shimmer, move and often take flight.
Liminal Encounters. Gallery 8, Duke Street. London. October 19th - 23rd.
After training at the Slade School of Art and the University of Provence, Jeremy Houghton's formative years as an artist were spent in South Africa as Head of Fine Art at The International School of Cape Town. On returning to England, and the village of his childhood - Broadway, he set up a studio and fully devoted himself to evolving a personal aesthetic.
Houghton paints the atmosphere and essence of specific places, focusing on their spatial and temporal liminality. The people and objects that characterize these scenes are illuminated by the way that he shapes the spaces between things, and the spaces in which bodies linger, shimmer, move and often take flight.
A broad variety of adventures and experiences have shaped an artistic development that has been chronicled through a rich context of specific commissions, international exhibitions and residencies. The many prestigious residencies have taken him into close proximity with the sources of his work, enabling him to witness important events, and draw on the immediacy and vibrancy of places to provide images that energize his narrative. He was an official artist for London Fashion Week in 2008 and the Olympics in 2012; artist in residence at Highgrove in 2013, at Windsor Castle in 2014, and at Goodwood in 2015.
Paintings made in his Broadway studio embrace the natural world at full tilt and further a personal theme of dynamic motion. Sparked by remembered experiences and a more imaginary approach, they often explore the spaces and actions of birds congregating and migrating, edging the liquidity of oil paint or watercolour, to processes which encourage his pictures to float in and out of abstraction.
These two distinct and yet complimentary bodies of work have been exhibited together in recent solo exhibitions at The Saatchi Gallery (London), The Everard Read Gallery (Johannesburg), The Visual Arts Gallery (Delhi), and The Ashmolean Museum, Broadway.
In experiencing all his paintings as a journey, our senses are richly stimulated: sensual colour or contrasting tonal relationships lead us to discover visual pathways; imagery leads us to anticipate memories; forms and movement are implied by the play of light and shade; objects seem to coalesce or evaporate before our eyes.
Favoured themes of time, motion, transience and change are further developed in sculptural arrangements and installations that explore movement in relation to our physical experience of objects in space. In these bodies of work, the artist works with an increasingly dematerialised version of object forms, channelling natural effects of light and reflection, changing conditions, and illusory space to enliven and inform our experience and impression of the world.