© 2023 by Richard Glynn Roberts. Proudly created with Wix.com

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‘The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful’

 

(Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

My painting over the last few years has essentially revolved around a discarded envelope of Kodak slides I found in a skip full of rubble on the Wandsworth road. The subject matter depicts generic family images from the 1960’s and I seized on these images as a way of framing a familial past, of imagining a reality that had not been dislocated. My latest work continues to explore narratives around transience, obsolescence and abandonment. I focus on depictions of discarded personal household clutter-worn out, spent stuff. The paintings reference snaps I take of recrudescent household detritus that appears and disappears in and around my part of South London. Banal stuff often deemed unworthy of attention in which I seek and detect meaning. The very nature of painting-layers of prolonged graft and reflection seems to be an antidote to obsolescence and novelty.

I’ve also delved into my sound archive consisting of hours of recorded material locked in a cassette analogue past. I see this work as presenting an aural backdrop of unfulfilled endeavour and loss.

The camera is central to my practice - I am particularly drawn to the feel of 35mm slides and Super 8 film. Artists such as Gerhard Richter, Malcolm Morley, Robert Bechtle and George Shaw continuously resonate. They embrace the photographic image, whether found or personal, to explore themes and concepts of dislocation, disintegration, memory and identity. Perhaps being born in remote rural Zimbabwe where my father worked for the colonial administration in the late1950’s - growing up in Durban South Africa under apartheid and then settling in run down post-punk London in the early 1980’s, has something to do with a compulsion towards these themes.

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