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'An Ornamental Hermit', Geraint Evans

A painting of a shirtless, bearded man surrounded by a man, woman, boy and dog

Oil on canvas, 150.5 x 173.5 cm, 2007

Artist's statement

My narrative-driven paintings are often located in the British suburban landscape of convention and compromise. I am interested in how this is undermined, or defined, by small moments of creativity or idiosyncratic activities. Recent paintings respond to the writer Roger Silverstone’s observation that the suburbs ‘reconcile and deny the essential differences between urban and rural life.’ (‘Visions of Suburbia’, Routledge, 1996).

They depict the simulated and constructed landscapes that are often found within the city and that offer safe and yet possibly aspirational encounters with ‘authentic‘, uncultivated nature.'An Ornamental Hermit' references a peculiar development in the English landscape garden tradition that saw a number of 18th-century landowners advertise for a suitable candidate to reside within their grounds and to adopt the mannerisms and appearance of an archetypal hermit.


Geraint Evans, born in 1968, grew up in Swansea. He studied at Manchester Polytechnic 1987-90 and the Royal Academy Schools London 1990-93. Solo exhibitions include Wilkinson Gallery London 2000 and 2004, Chapter Cardiff 2001 and CASA Salamanca Spain 2003. Group exhibitions include 'Dirty Pictures' The Approach, London 2003, 'Other Times' City Gallery Prague 2004 and 'Bittersweet' Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester 1997. He was resident artist at Banff Centre for the Arts Canada 1994 and received the Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship in 2002/3. Exhibited in 'John Moores 19' 1995,' John Moores 23' 2004 and 'John Moores 24' 2006. He is course leader for postgraduate painting at Wimbledon College of Art London.

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