Turning Tide: An exhibition of recent painting by John Corley

This exhibition of recent painting by Linden Hall Studio founder John Corley marks the beginning of a new era for the gallery, as we reopen after hopefully, the final COVID-19 induced lockdown.

These paintings contain many of those recognisable hallmarks that a JC image contains. Rich colour, trembling textures and the warm, gentle movements which are so integral to his abilities as a draftsman responding to the surroundings of his locality, living and working by the sea in Deal, Kent.

The majority of these works have been made in the last few months of our lockdown era. All from John's studio, a stones throw from the vibrant and evolving view that the south Kent coastline provides.

Knowing this, allows the images to be read at their primary level - a skilled and thoughtful reciprocation to the light and sea-current combination which make up the powerful channel views ; catalysing much of his work.

The act of making painting like the act of viewing painting takes time, and the paintings within this collection do demand deserved attention. They are dealing with the fundamentals of much abstracted work, tackling the issues of painterly resolution within this field, whilst at the same time offering the viewer a clear starting point for the artist's inspiration.

John's ability to use the shades and tones of vibrant colour in new and inspired ways are what make many of these paintings so intriguing and inviting to the viewer. At times the light and movement dances quickly across the page, similar to the morning sun illuminating the transient formations of ripples and waves which delight any ruminator gazing out across the seashore.

Broad strokes of yellows, blues and reds, break up any anticipated rhythm within these works, allowing a peppered layering of gently applied undertones to hold our gaze, bringing us in and walking us through his individual response on the page.

These works celebrate the joys of thoughtfully captured colour and application. Not always through fast paced light and movement, but at times capturing a still moment, a pensive atmosphere, perhaps an ellipsis of thought ; this process expertly made in the form of hand to brush, to paint, to page. They are always moving forward, continuing to evolve as they arrest us for a whilst, leaving the viewer with a wonderful gift.

The urge to keep looking and responding to the ever changing world around us.

Myles Corley
Gallery Director
March 2021