'Polycrylic Decades', George Sherlock

Textured grey and multi-coloured painting

2009, Acrylic on polythene, 175 x 232 cm

Artist's statement

My recent practice has involved exploring and extending the possibilities in the use of acrylic paint on different surfaces. Looking for a technical solution that could generate new content has led to experimentation with a whole range of domestic chemicals mixed with acrylic. In its preparation the paint is balanced from thick to thin and sometimes includes commercial polymer house paints. Images are painted on the studio floor where the polythene is turned into a shallow bath in which paint is allowed to mix and separate according to the quantity of water used. This settles into its own structure and the drying process can take weeks. The process allows for the extraction and addition of water and new paint which generates unexpected configurations. Finally the image is reversed either through printing onto a surface, or, as in Polycrylic Decades, is viewed through the polythene sheet.

This painting is a new departure, stopping at an earlier point in the overall process than usual. The phrase 'ironic sublime' came to mind since the materials with which I am creating images, within the traditions of modernist abstraction, have prompted a selfconsciousness towards the degradable qualities and effects of the plastics and chemicals used.


George Sherlock was born in Liverpool and studied at the College of Art there 1959-63. He won the Liverpool Artists' Prize, travelling to Spain on a Liverpool Senior City Travelling Scholarship. He was Senior Lecturer in painting at Coventry University 1983-2003. Exhibitions include 'I/Am/Is/Are' Arvore Gallery Porto Portugal 1998 (solo), 'Painting Open' Royal West of England Academy Bristol 2001 (1st prize), '2020; '20 Artistas' No.20 Anniversario' Centro De Arte De S.Joao Da Madeira Porto Portugal 2006, 'Drawing Breath' Gallery Lugar Do Deseno Julio Resende Foundation Porto Portugal 2008, 'Sunday Times Watercolour Competition-Parker Harris' Mall Galleries London 2010. Exhibited in 'John Moores 7' 1969.