John’s paintings and prints depict the primordial essence of the world we inhabit. They are detailed and complex studies of seemingly random forms found in nature.
The unaccountable ‘given’ quality of these starting points makes way for complex painting processes. The result is striking imagery that is neither abstract nor figurative, but rather makes iconic the complex imagery the earth herself presents us with. Through an evolving organic abstraction, the work focuses on the similarities between processes such as layering and corrosion in nature and those in art.
Embedded within his work is a long-standing dialogue between the island cultures of Crete and Ynys Môn: works are made with Welsh material in Greece and vice-versa, often acknowledging the remarkable geological similarities of the two island and extending to the study of Greek icon painting and its relation to figuration and abstraction. The recent paintings have been painted on native woods of both islands, which are mainly from windfalls.
Based in Ynys Môn, John has over many years, developed a deep and sustained interest in visual aspects of the natural sciences, especially geology and arboreal morphology. His work is multifaceted, encompassing painting (working on pieces of native woods), combined relief collage (using Japanese processes) and prints. Almost uniquely amongst British printmakers, he employs techniques that combine traditional intaglio printmaking with digitally created photopolymer processes. Hedley’s works explore imagery for so long exclusive to the natural sciences: They are impressions (a useful adjective in the dual contexts of collage/relief and printmaking) that respect – even venerate – the visual mystery at the heart of his subject matter.
John Hedley: Natural Forms/Crete and Ynys Môn (Works in Progress) at the Royal Cambrian Academy, opening 24th March 2018, is one of a series to showcase work made as part of a two-year project funded by the Arts Council of Wales.
Information/download about current exhibition: Royal Cambrian Academy
News & Events
Printmaking related photography, Oriel Colwyn from 24th September
Editions Gallery, Liverpool. Collages & paintings.
Commencing 1st November