” I work in clusters of mostly small paintings, and these are often shown in groups or sequences. For some time I have been interested in the astonishing variety of the sky, and the dependable regularity of the sea, and how one sees them or thinks about them. But nowadays it is impossible to think about these images without also thinking about the toxicity of the beautiful vapour trail, or the imperceptible but permanent rising of the sea. These contradictions or opposites become central to any group of work, whatever it is, I happen to be working on, within the work or in itʼs naming”.

Photography is a part of this practice, the glimpsing of the rooftop, sky or momentary image, and yet the painting takes time to find itʼs presence. The subject is perhaps the thing that is in the void and made, manipulated through layers of time and pigment to become the ʻnowʼ of painting.” –JD


Photo John Dougill

SEA. In and Out, Left to Right and Right to Left, Here and There, Up and Down, Coming and Going, Tumult and Withdrawal, Gaining and Losing, Something and Nothing, Hello and Goodbye.

HORIZON. Most Far Away, a Division, Scrutinized, Never-To-Be-In, an Edge, an Invitation, an Ending. – JD

painting John Dougill


Essay by Beth Harland and Louisa Minkin.

CROSSING 2. Oil on Canvas

CROSSING 2. Oil on Canvas

CLOSER STILL is an exhibition, which brings together artists whose paintings enlarge upon a photographic source and as such may be conceived as images of images. Exposure to the photographic material forms an impression in these paintings, a shadow of the original image rather than a direct representation of it. Stoichita, in A Short History of the Shadow, describes Pliny’s story of the origin of painting as a discourse of love and loss. A young woman draws around the lamplight shadow of her beloved who is about to embark on a journey. The representation has its origin in the interruption of a relationship, in a separation. The image is an index, it ‘stands in’ for the source or original, rather than – in the Platonic tradition – taking on the mimetic function of the mirror. We are thinking about semblance rather than likeness.

“The primitive nature of the first act of representation described by Pliny resides in the fact that the first pictorial image would not have been the result of a direct observation of a human body, but of capturing the body’s projection… A representation of a representation [an image of a shadow], the first painting was nothing more than the copy of a copy”. – Stoichita