JOEL DICKENS - Like Noise From A Party You're Not Invited To
Joel Dickens' deceptively simple works are in fact a painstaking exploration of visual, metaphorical & emotional paradoxes. A show not to be missed, these paintings demand closer inspection to fully appreciate Dickens' technical mastery and unique visual language.
Joel Dickens was born in London, grew up in Essex and studied Fine Art in the Lake District. Upon graduating he returned to London, working and exhibiting there for a number of years before moving to Sydney in 2003, where he has continuously worked on developing his unique style.
One is initially drawn to Joel’s work by the striking colour, the raw immediacy of lineal gesture and the spontaneity and simplicity of the image as a whole. However, there is something simultaneously carefree and intense about these works, invoking a sense of unease.
It is upon closer inspection of the painting's surface that one appreciates the origin of this dichotomy; the multiple layering of specifically mixed colour and the fact that the gesture is subtracted from the top colour, as opposed to being added. In this sense, technically speaking, the gesture is in fact the negative space in the work.
Joel spends hours experimenting and mixing paint to give him the combinations he desires and many canvases are abandoned along the way, when the combinations are ultimately unsuccessful. The carving of the motif is both painstaking and nerve wracking, this tension evident in the finished product.
When we appreciate this process we now read the painting as a disciplined and time consuming exercise, constructing the metaphor for life that threads these works together; spontaneous expression is harnessed, compressed and edited into something which, for Joel, more accurately represents modern reality.