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Melvyn Evans

Artist Statement

Painting references printmaking, the surface is important in evoking the same sense of the past. Leaving traces of previous marks, scratches, shapes and colours creates a half forgotten narrative running below the surface.

I am inspired by the British landscape and my work references the past in relation to the future.

When my father left the Navy we farmed a hill farm in West Wales. Working on the land brought me very close to the elemental in the landscape, able to see through the picturesque and understand how deep connections and bonds are formed when we live in harmony with the land.

We've marked the landscape for millennia with walls, boundary stones, ancient trees, carvings and markers. I'm interested in how communities navigated their landscape using these local reference points often giving them characteristic names some of which have now lost their meaning but all give us an insight into the past.

I'm also interested in how our understanding of the landscape as being permanent has recently altered, we have moved from being in awe of the landscape to being able to influence the landscape in such a way as to produce irreparable change. The stumps of great forests fossilised and exposed at particularly low tides give us a glimpse of lost causeways hinting at previous upheavals and give us an understanding of the fragility of the landscape we know.

Background

Living and working in Kent, the art of Melvyn Evans encompasses linocut, painting and illustration. The task of skilfully mastering one is to be admired let alone these three different ways of creating and thinking.

Evans began his working life as an engineer but turned his hand to being a professional artist in 1992 producing a wealth of beautifully strong imagery with an equally pleasing set of colourings. His competent eye makes objects and landscapes into handsome forms and shapes, depicting a scene with texture and clarity where he has great ability representing an informality with formality, partnering them perfectly.

Despite his artistic success – winning awards and exhibiting widely, there is a distinct modesty of this man and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to ask and learn more about his history and day to day life as an artist.

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Melvyn Evans