Brighton is located just 47 miles south of London and has always been an attraction to visitors. With the introduction of good transport links, particularly the railway in 1841, it’s been a convenient destination for day-trippers. Brighton has developed into a fashionable seaside resort, the most popular in the UK, being ‘hippy and quirky’.
London and Brighton have a close connection, not only through location (the latter often referred to as London-by-the-Sea) but also with the various annual events like the Veteran Car Run and Bike Ride.
With two universities, there is also a large student population. Having moved from London to Brighton myself to study, I am one of the many migrants to the city, who fell in love with the place and decided to put down roots after studying. It’s also a very creative place with many artists.
I was inspired to curate an exhibition entitled London to Brighton, based on these two cities close connections. I met both Marc Gooderham and Rik Ward at a similar time and I was struck by how London and Brighton's scenes inspired both artists. I encouraged them both to continue to develop their work for this exhibition with this theme in mind.
Marc Gooderham’s interests lay in derelict buildings or buildings in need of repair, with their peeling paint, numberless front doors, and glimpses into empty rooms through uncurtained windows, which evoke a loneliness inherent in any large city. But their stillness also invites contemplation – of the lives once lived here, and the lives that may do so again. In his paintings and drawings, he captures moments which can so easily be missed if you don’t look up or around your environment. Dereliction and dilapidation aren’t what we want to acknowledge in our environment, as it speaks of shame, disrepair and neglect. Great artists reveal and present these issues, yet can create beauty in what could be considered a blemish on our towns and cities.
Marc has journeyed around both cities, depicting the essence of each place with scenes of interest to him, be it graffiti, dereliction or just creative places.
Rik Ward travels and photographs environments, creating what he calls ‘Photo Fusions’. Each work is a colourful blend of multiple images combining views of various European cities with more mundane images and textures.
Like Marc’s approach, Rik’s fascinated with architecture and combining this with the unseen or overlooked nature of neglected buildings. The several layers of photography are a montage of images resulting in what I would liken to photographic painting.
Rik’s earliest photo-fusions were an exciting development, but it took two years of further experimentation to reach his current standards. He is passionate about seeing his work develop further – in terms of subject and technique - as his photographic explorations continue at home and abroad.
It is with great delight I present the works of Rik Ward and Marc Gooderham, to be seen at the gallery 6th to 22nd July.