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'After Paul Nash', Vincent Hawkins

Painting with abstract lines overlapping each other in the centre

Acrylic on canvas, 46 x 46cm, 2005

Artist's statement

'After Paul Nash' coincided with looking at his paintings and photos/montages. The latter I found to be of particular interest because of the way in which he recycles old imagery. In 'Swanage', of about 1936, bones, driftwood and dead trees form a setting. Nash somehow pictorially reclaims from what seems a metaphor for ‘spent life’ and presents it as having further possibilities.

I tend to recycle forms, using them in the way you'd use templates. I work like this in order to build a painting rather than endeavouring to convey an easily readable subject. What I want to do is bring something to the work that is recognisable as 'feeling.’

I usually work in an improvisational way. I find this allows for a trial and error approach to working. I never know exactly how it is going to turn out because I do not start with a clear idea. Things I have been involved with, or have been looking at, generally begin to filter through into the painting. This seems to be the way that it works and is something I have learned to trust.


Vincent Hawkins was born in Hertfordshire in 1959. He studied at Maidstone College of Art 1984-87. His group shows include Recent Graduates Show (selected from art colleges in the south east) Angela Best Gallery Canterbury 1987, Old Subject New Object Bonington Gallery Nottingham 1990 and an exhibition at Clapham Art Gallery London 1997. He has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2006.