‘Portal’ Preview: Thursday 3 March 6:30 - 9pm Exhibition: 3 March - 3 April 2016
Taking the nature of imagination itself as subject matter, Darren John’s recent work explores the value of the untamed creative spirit and the centrality of this mind set in artistic expression.
Darren John's primary concern as an artist is the value of creative imagination and it's suppression in everyday life. There is a sense of awe and wonder innate to childhood that persists in life despite a tendency for this spirit to be curtailed in adulthood. For the child that has not learnt where the boundaries are supposed to lie, the imagination remains limitless. John's project is to make tangible that sense of unchained creative freedom.
All children tend to paint and they do so fearlessly. They express naturally a direct relationship with their imagination through paint, and in doing so express a direct relationship with the medium of painting itself. For John, this purity of expression is the highest achievement of art and it places his aesthetic in direct opposition to those who can accept any manifestation of elitism in art and culture. John's work embraces the bold, bright colours and forms of childhood creativity - vibrant imagery that is universally recognizable and impossible to ignore.
John's recent work takes the imagination itself as subject. These are not paintings of places or events, rather the canvas operates as a window into the mind of the painter. Cryptic and imposing yet playful, John's visual language channels the mind set of creativity in all its spontaneity. His iconography and abstract forms collide and coexist without explanation like impulsive thoughts in the psyche. A roguish sense of enigma pervades in the work that reflects the endless complexities of thought in the free imagination. As viewers, we are invited to decipher this aura of mystery and in doing so we must engage with the artist’s vision on its own terms. At this point, we too have entered the portal and have arrived in the realm of our own unbound creative imagination.