Calm and Chaos
A regular exhibitor with Artizan, this will be Philip’s first solo show and we are delighted to be curating and hosting it for him in our Courtyard Gallery.
Philip Eley is a naive artist living in Paignton, Devon. He works as an emotional health specialist, helping teenagers find emotional balance.
At the start of 2021 Philip committed to doing a painting a day for 365 days. Although he has been developing his unique style over many years, the discipline of painting every day has transformed his work. Over these months he has found a freedom and vibrancy that he had always looked for. But liveliness is only one side of Philip’s work,’ I am always striving to balance this with a sense of peace and serenity. This balance is key to my work’.
Philip’s Grandmother was a master of Ikebana, (Japanese Flower arranging) and he grew up surrounded by her work. Without deliberately following the exact specifications of Ikebana, some of the underlying principles do inform his vision, and particularly this satisfying blend of calm and chaos. Sometimes the chaos is outside, through the window, while the calmness is inside within the still life. Sometimes the chaos is in the under-painting, while the calm is in the surface. Sometimes the chaos is in the warm colours while the calm is in the cold colours. Sometimes the chaos is in the gaps, while the calm is in the shapes.
The gaps between things are as important as the forms, this is another principle of Ikebana.
Another principle is elevating the ordinary. The star of the painting might be a simple beach pebble, or a humble fisherman’s cottage. If flowers are present, they are simple field flowers. Nothing is showy, but everything is important.
Philip’s paintings are silent worlds, where nothing is over-worked. Things have to find their form quickly and in as few lines as possible. He generally uses a restricted colour palette, but the bright pops of colour are carefully chosen. Works are made using acrylic ink, acrylic paint and collage.