Martin Greenland’s New Fiction
, Shaw Street
18th September – 12th November 2010
Martin Greenland, winner of John Moores Prize 2006 with Before Vermeer's
Clouds, has an exhibition, New Fiction starting next week at the Cornerstone
Gallery. Gayna Rose Madder asked him how this came about.
"I don’t know how I fit within the Liverpool Biennial. I am
with the Independents and so I consider myself to be an outsider. I live
and work in relative isolation and cannot regard myself as an urbanite
at all: unlike most artists I have never lived or worked in a city of
any size. I was the only artist to win the John Moores who has never lived,
worked or trained in London. This isolation makes my work quite different.
I feel comfortable in a rural environment, from which derives most of
my inspiration; the depth and meaning and solace informs my painting.
"Earlier this year, I was asked by Jason Jones at Cornerstone Gallery
to do this show. Previously I have had four solo exhibitions in Liverpool
and have been represented at the John Moores Exhibition of Contemporary
Painting five times, which I won in 2006. The work in the show comes from
the past four years, including pieces only just completed as the show
begins. New Fiction has a literary reference which I like.
"Increasingly my paintings have become improvisations, with scant
or no reference either to drawings I produce or ideas for compositions,
to nail down spontaneous thoughts or images. This is because I need to
invent, make changes, and not be tied down by actualities. But I want
the viewer to be convinced by what I do whilst knowing it is fictional,
but I have to come out and say ‘I am a landscape painter’,
"This is one of the many aspects where painting and photography
differ. One does not look as Monet’s summer afternoon meadows and
see a snapshot, but an accumulation of slowly moving hours, even days.
"I am inspired by everything. The roots of some pieces in this show
lie in childhood memories; some are a late response to an area of Northern
England which held my emotions as a young teenager in the 1970s and enables
me, through my art, to be honest about my emotions. So much of contemporary
life has become dry, knowing and post-modern; art has dived headlong into
a sort of international soup, full of self-reference and cynicism, almost
empty of humanism. If my approach is old-fashioned I don’t care.
"I have sometimes thought of using Liverpool as a starting point
in my painting. As I write this may not be far off. I find a great kinship
in the city; so many people I have met have become good friends."
Martin Greenland is also exhibiting in South Korea in a joint show involving
past prize winners of the John Moores Prize. At the end of November he
exhibits at Art Space Gallery / Michael Richardson Contemporary Art in