'Welcome to my Garden', Andrew Griffiths

Painting of a large garden with dozens of garden gnomes involved in various tasks

Oil on linen, 183 x 244.5cm, 2005

Artist's statement

‘Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion…Just as the extreme of perversion borders on mystical energy so too the extreme of banality allows us to catch a glimpse of the sublime’.

‘Casablanca: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage’, 1984, from ‘Travels in Hyperreality’ Umberto Eco.

'Welcome to my Garden' is one painting from a larger series with the same title. Some of the paintings stray from the given image that I use as an initial starting point; some do not. This is one such painting. It required very little editing and nothing much was added. I was drawn to the image at first as I knew it would allow me to make a painting that had no obvious focal point and would be relentless in its ability to reveal and conceal things in equal measure.

I have no particular affection for gnomes or the larger group of garden ornaments to which they belong. Earlier paintings employed such motifs simply as vehicles upon which I could project anthropomorphic ideas. Now, a suggestion of designed weirdness has diminished to be replaced by paintings with a more unemphatic approach. Their readings are made possible through a tacit acknowledgement that the centre can be weirder than the periphery.


Andrew Griffiths was born in Poole in 1972. He studied at Wimbledon School of Art London 1991-92, Loughborough College of Art and Design 1992-95 and the Royal College of Art London 2002-04. His London exhibitions include Rocca Pistola Collection New Inn Gallery 2003, Interim Show Royal College of Art 2003, Custodian Chambers Gallery 2004, The Show Royal College of Art 2004 and Muster Station Rockwell London 2006. His awards are Amlin Interim Show Award (RCA) 2003 and Painters-Stainers Award 2003, 2004. He was Artist-in-Residence at Loughborough University 2005-06 and was shortlisted for the Celeste Painting Prize 2006.