Don gets ready for new artistic directions

Billingshurst artist Don Noble is promising a mixed exhibition at Chichester's Oxmarket Gallery from January 29-February 11.

Don Noble
Don Noble

Don describes the exhibition as his way of drawing a line under his current range of work before moving on to new projects and new challenges.

“This is really a retrospective of my work over the last 30-odd years. I have previously exhibited at the Oxmarket, and it is a nice venue, but I am just wanting to draw a line under what I am doing at the moment.

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“This will be a mixed show with a lot of different things, quite a variety of work over the years. They are paintings mostly, some on canvas, some on board, oil paintings and acrylic paintings, and I will be organising them so that they look fairly coherent. I have worked on different ideas at different times, and those will be together.” For 30 years Don made his living doing fore-edge painting – a discipline which involves painting a scene on the edges of the pages of a book. For three decades, Don did three a week.

The works which he will be exhibiting in Chichester are the works he has done for pleasure or passion: “I have always been interested in contemporary painting, but I never found a way to make a living from it, and I needed to make a living!

“In the exhibition, the last section will be selection of Sussex wild plants. I have got about 16 of those. I sometimes fragment the picture a little bit to try to get a sense of time and space into the painting. All your mind goes into making a painting, and sometimes I find it a little bit difficult to explain them. They are quite instinctive. “Before the Sussex wild plants, there is a section that I call Landscape in Predicament.

“The subject matter is a little bit like political cartoons in a way. They are about things like war and population pressure and urban stress. That all sounds a little bit grim, but I try to have an element of absurdity there as well and also to make it all graphically compelling.

“I have also got three kinetic works which are rotating triangular prisms. They are tactile. They are designed to be touched and to change. They are images that can be combined in different ways. Just by rotating one of them, you can change the images. “There is one of them that tells the story of a landscape that changes. It starts off very rural and then you change it and it introduces elements of the city, but the whole picture keeps a certain coherence.

“ Children love them. Children find them fascinating.”

After the exhibition, Don is looking forward to moving in different directions: “I would like to start more painting, probably figure work.

“That would be a new challenge for me to do something new again.”