“Sometimes I see my works as pinnacles of experience retrieved from a chaos of memory”
British artist Daniel Crawshaw (b. 1967), is a painter intrigued by the fragile potential of mountains and is an obsessive gatherer of material. Whilst walking he photographs and distills his experiences into studio paintings of varying scale. Crawshaw says: “Sometimes I see my works as pinnacles of experience retrieved from a chaos of memory”.
Through oil paint Crawshaw aims to articulate lost moments common to us all and enjoys the possibility of transforming empty scenes into settings for others to occupy, suggesting that paintings can be inert objects on the precipice of flux or metaphysical arenas that draw the viewer in.
Crawshaw’s paintings of epic and isolated landscapes recall a sense of feeling overwhelmed in nature. The artists aim is to take viewers back to those dramatic encounters with a painting that resists conclusion. Delving beyond the photographic veneer, Crawshaw’s guiding preoccupation and enquiry into abstract construction is paramount.
“Frequently I pursue the epic that hides in plain sight and my studio is littered with 7x5 snapshots that appear to have missed the point. The Snowdon lake ‘Glaslyn’ is passed by hundreds of walkers on a summit route. For me a single chanced detail spawned a host of works.
Daniel Crawshaw explains a feeling of being at war with pictorial convention and therefore avoids dominant objects or perspectives, often enclosing mountains in cloud, banishing the horizon. Crawshaw paints in a single application using a grid, working from the top, anticipating and adjusting. He says: “I have discovered that scale shifts challenge my sensibility and multiples can suggest both photographic sequences and unexpected narratives.”