Ian Friend is best known for his subtle and evocative works on paper. With a fascination for the alchemy of materials and an obsession with handmade paper, Friend’s works are made through processes that speak to the artist’s reverence for the materiality of making. Repeated layers of ink and gouache are laid down and then inscribed with lines of crayon and pencil. Through a process of push and pull, addition and subtraction, the works gradually move towards resolution and articulate a space that is both intimate and expansive.
Friend’s practice also reflects his passion for jazz, classical music, poetry and architecture. The exhibition title was from Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space; a seminal text on architecture that looks at poetry, art, and consciousness itself to examine the domestic places that shape and hold dreams and memories. This is reflected in Friend's work which contains the artist's archaeology of place, time, and memory: the Cretaceous eroding landscape of East Sussex where Friend grew up lives in the chalky pigment, time spent reading philosophy, history and poetry are in the structure of the works and sometimes in the titles, and music can be found in the flow of materials.
Intimate Immensity included works on paper alongside new explorations in painting and sculpture.
3 pm, Saturday 10 June 2023
Ian Friend in conversation with Pat Hoffie
11 am, Saturday 5 August 2023