Interpreting The Uninhabitable Earth - Chichester exhibition

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Recent Paintings is the title of the exhibition running at Chichester’s Oxmarket Contemporary from July 9-21 from artist Don Noble.

“This exhibition showcases my recent paintings I have been working from my studio in Billingshurst focusing on imaginatively interpreting The Uninhabitable Earth, a book by David Wallace Wells about global warming and what could happen in the future. Inspired by reading this, I have created a series of eight small paintings entitled A View of the World, which I think are very topical right now. These new paintings have a surreal quality to them and give the viewer food for thought. With titles such as War, What is happening? and Burn Up they forewarn of the potential destruction of the earth as we know it. Hopefully they will be thought provoking and resonate with our collective concern for climate change.

“My recent still lives were painted in lockdown when I was restricted to the confines of my flat. The subject matter celebrates the good things in life such as wine, water, books and fruit which I think most people can appreciate.

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“Another group of works are painted from my studio window and document suburban life with the comings and goings of daily life and the changing seasons. The use of the window to frame the images helps to give a sense of movement and changing light. As a painter, I find beauty and interest in the day to day, whether in nature and the Sussex countryside or the view from my studio window with the ever-changing light.

Don Noble (contributed pic)Don Noble (contributed pic)
Don Noble (contributed pic)

“I use fast-drying oil paint on canvas and work on large and small scales. I tend to use a restricted palette of around five core colours which blend the painting together. I work very quickly getting an initial idea down and then come back to work on it and develop it. I start with the subject and my initial response to it noting that the abstract qualities hit the eye before all else and not forgetting that a painting is always a surface. Making explicit the nub of a visual experience for me includes the time dimension which often involves a fracturing and/or blurring of the image. Energy, tension and resolution arrive from the interplay between rational and feeling elements.

“Painting for me is my individual experience of being and can include snapshots of daily life, such as spring flowers on my window sill. I often like to include an element of humour in my work. My paintings combine the figurative with an element of abstraction. I try to communicate an element of time which I sometimes achieve by fragmenting the image to create different perspectives.

“I trained at Wimbledon School of Art in the late 1950s and have been a practisng artist ever since. Earlier in my career I worked as a fore-edge painter which helped pay the bills. This old English book craft, dating back to 1660, required precise and detailed paintings on the fore-edge of a book. My work took me on trips all over America.

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"I’m inspired by contemporary life and the uniqueness of being in a specific place and point of time, the poignancy of that and the need to mark and celebrate it. I draw inspiration from a myriad of artists.”

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