Lot 92 - Reuben Powell - Gins Farm Summer '23
Reuben Powell’s discipline focuses on paintings on tin-plate steel with a strong relationship to drawing. The themes explored in his work are industrial and maritime. These themes explore his own family history and a broader history. Figures rarely appear in his landscapes and seascapes. People are significant by their absence. Reuben has in the past and still does make many figurative works and this seeming contradiction in his work underlies much of Reuben as an artist. Reuben has been working on tin-plate for many years. The surface allowing for a greater depth to the picture plane and by scribing and burning the opportunity to reduce the painting back to the drawing stage is established throughout it’s making. Lines are cut back through the paint and tin layer and allowed to rust and then reworked. This process repeated until resolution. It is perhaps impossible to reinvent painting though it is certainly worth.
Born 1966 England
1982-1984. Foundation Course Bournemouth and Poole college of Art and Design Shelley Park.
1984-1987. Degree in Illustration. Harrow College of Higher Education
The Morley Gallery London
APT Gallery London
Hotel Elephant Gallery London
Beaux Arts Bath
Royal Society of Marine Artists
The London Group. Menier Gallery
Hunting Art Prize
London Festival of Architecture
120 Bermondsey Street. Etched stainless steel gates. Permanent installation
Southwark Art Collection commission. Ariel View of Elephant and Castle. 4m x2m painting on tin-plate
Statement about AOAP Submitted Artworks
These are four are all very recent, made specifically for the exhibition, taken from research conducted around the Solent from Reuben’s 101-year-old yacht Charm which is depicted in the picture made up of rust and tin only. Here she is cutting through the choppy sea of the Solent.
The coloured oil painting of Gins Farm slipway where Charm is moored on the peaceful Beulieu River is a scene that has little changed since wooden sailing warships were built on the river many years ago. The raw reflective surface of the tin sheet breaking through in places.
In contrast to this, only a short distance away is Fawley oil refinery on Southampton Water. Here we can see a gas carrier loading. The ship underlines the current reliance on oil and gas and the great lengths taken to transport the fuel. In the other picture from Southampton Water an oil tanker is docking to unload crude oil for the refinery as a huge rusting container ship leaves the river heavily loaded. The water between the two ships is heavily churned up. Fawley and other sites on Southampton Water will soon become free ports again underlining the reliance on the trade and the sea, both alien environments little understood by the vast majority of people.
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