David Royle
1994 - Beardsmore Gallery

"OASIS" .... TO .... "ORPHEUS"  

It is as though there is an internal landscape: an inner territory of sensation. Memories of heat, dust, visual recollections of places, of light and colour mix equally with more incorporeal abstract ideas, intuitions about imagery, emotional atmospheres and thoughts about paint, scale and picture structure. The topography is flexible. A piece of work grows like a journey of shifting connections and "places" emerge where several elements combine into a single vista. The works from which this exhibition is selected could be considered as "places" discovered.

From September 1991 to August 1992 I painted the ten canvasses of the "Oasis" series. In general these paintings are places of tension between expansion, life and abundance and ruin, pressure and decay - the balance often shifting from one canvas to the next. The work on No. IX was suspended briefly for a journey through France to the south and back again. The internal territory became expanded with new light and colour, memories of hot dusty weather, the luxuriance and the spikiness of the physical geography. The end of "Oasis" slides easily into the paintings linked to the idea of the "South". While in France a short but influential stay with a friend at her house provided the initial elements for the "Two Pools" paintings: the contrast of the raised swimming pool and, at a deeper overgrown level, the darker shaded water. Gradually this real place assimilated into the internal landscape. A half camouflaged creature imagery developed in the undergrowth. The move from here to the beginnings of the "Orpheus" paintings has emerged, but a hotter, more burnt, spiky and pagan place, and now showing the trail of some human violence.

David Royle, 1994
Southern Study  1992  56 x 76cm
Old Earth  1993  92 x 122cm
The South - Old Earth  1993  137 x 183cm
Oasis Study  1992  61 x 43cm
Muted  1994  49 x 69cm
Shade  1992  61 x 43cm
Undergrowth  1993  92 x 71cm
Dark Water  1993  102 x 76cm
Two Pools  1993  153 x 122cm
Two Pools: Undergrowth  1993  153 x 122cm
Two Pools  1994  183 x 137cm
The South: Yellow  1993  153 x 122cm
Aftermath  1994  153 x 122cm
Oasis X  1993  160 x 198cm
Dumb Orpheus  1994  137 x 183cm