Painting is a form of time travel, of conjuring up the past. Places, spaces people and imagining new possibilities. It is magic. - Andrew Cranston
Andrew Cranston once described himself as a storyteller of sorts, though without a clear story to tell. He draws on a variety of sources including personal recollections – family histories; his circuitous route to art school via an initial, unsuccessful, foray into carpentry; and his 25-year association as both student and lecturer at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen. Interwoven with passages culled from literature, anecdotes, jokes, and images from cinema these elements combine to make his idiosyncratic, intimate, and often dream-like, paintings.
These moments or ‘pockets of history’ - as Cranston puts it - are woven together with an extensive knowledge and curiosity regarding the history and process of painting. The resulting images may at once nod to Becket or Brueghel; reference the words of James Joyce or the graphic line of Toulouse Lautrec; or recall the intense interiors of Vuillard, Bonnard or David Lynch.
Cranston works directly onto the linen covers of second-hand hardback books, often bleaching the surface or manipulating his materials in layers of paint, varnish and collage. ‘Painting’ he says ‘is about amounts, how much of this or that, and where, intervals, gaps, trying to create harmonies, tensions in this box. To hold the eye, move the eye’. A painting may be begun, discarded, revisited and resolved over a period of years, until something essential coalesces.
But the dream had no sound is the largest exhibition of Andrew Cranston’s work to date. It is accompanied by a 164pp publication featuring an interview between the artist and his friend and colleague, painter Peter Doig. The book also includes over 60 illustrations - each with notes written by the artist - revealing the thoughts and associations that emerge in the process of making a painting.
Notes to editors:
Andrew Cranston was born in Hawick in the Scottish Borders in 1969 and currently lives and works in Glasgow. He studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and at the Royal College of Art in London.
Peter Doig was born in Edinburgh in 1959 and currently lives and works between Trinidad and London. His work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions worldwide including Tate, London; The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh and the Beyeler Foundation Basel.