Artists offer An Unspoken Discourse in Chichester

Artists Malcolm Crocker and Colin Merrin combine for An Unspoken Discourse, an exhibition which brings them together at Chichester’s Oxmarket Contemporary from November 28-December 10.
Colin Merrin (contributed pic)Colin Merrin (contributed pic)
Colin Merrin (contributed pic)

Malcolm is from the New Forest and Colin from Southsea. They are promising a “conversation in paint.” There will be a talk by the artists on Saturday, December 2 from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Colin, a former headteacher of a London pupil referral unit, said: “I take a stream of consciousness approach to my work, making fairly random ink drawings, mostly based on the human face, then work into them with a variety of materials. I’ve always been an artist and showing my work in such a fantastic space as the Oxmarket and to encourage people to come along and see it will be a great pleasure.”

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His paintings and drawings reflect his interest in behaviour and the human condition and how it impacts on events in history: “My work is graphic and slightly comic strip in appearance as it focuses on the absurd and questions the idea of meaning.”

Like Colin, Malcolm has been an artist all his working life. He has worked as a town planner in the past and has been the chief executive of a local authority. He explains: “I paint imaginary strange dystopian landscapes and structures. I’m interested in the future of our tiny green planet which is barely a dot in the universe. I enjoy the interplay of landscape and architecture which questions the idea of time and issues around the disintegration and erosion of earth and the gradual return to nature.”

Malcolm added: “Both Colin and I decided to show our work together as a conversation in paint and image making and we were so bowled over when we saw the beautiful building and space at the Oxmarket that we decided we’d like to use both galleries.”

Colin and Malcolm are established artists who have exhibited in galleries and spaces both nationally and internationally. They agree that art in its true sense is something unique to each artist. It has to embody integrity.

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“We’re stylistically very different,” says Colin. “However our work is both imaginative and unusual. We respect each other’s individualism and while there’s always some remote resemblance to the work of other artists, I think we both avoid cliché.”

Malcolm added: “In terms of what we’d like to achieve, apart from selling some work, we decided the show should include a talk. It is after all about a discourse between two painters who have certain views about the world, so we’d like to open this up as a discussion with people who are all welcome to come along for free on Saturday, December 2.”

Both are art school graduates. Malcolm attended the University of Winchester and gained a BA (Hons) in fine art. Colin attended Maidstone College of Art and holds a BA (hons) in graphic design and an MA from the Institute of Education, University of London.