Tim Craven

Tim Craven

Tim Craven
Millenium Hill, 2015

Tim Craven paints dense and intricate close landscapes of trees and woodland. He is drawn to complex and rhythmic, natural imagery when flattened and abstracted by photography. His work explores the tension between hand-made mark-making and the photo-mechanical form of abstract shapes that combine to create illusion and depth. For him too, these shapes can reference much of art history.

After training in fine art and the conservation of paintings, Craven joined the staff of Southampton City Art Gallery in 1980. Working up close with one of the finest regional public collections of art, spanning eight centuries for over 30 years has proved a privileged stimulus for his own art practice which he has always rigorously pursued. His work is therefore inevitably informed by a diverse range of style and ideas. He admires the English pastoral landscape tradition, notably the Pre-Raphaelite landscape painters such as J W Inchbold, and its links with Surrealism through Paul Nash and others as well as various abstract and contemporary movements including Op Art and The Systems Group.

Tim Craven
Swinyard Hill, 2015, casein on canvas, 20 x 30 ins

His distinctive influences however are the densely patterned paintings of Charles Ginner of the Post-Impressionist Camden Town Group, and the work of his Birmingham born friend, John Salt, a celebrated first generation New York School Photorealist, who employs fine stencils with an airbrush.

Craven's paintings are often monochrome or in muted colour evoking memory and nostalgia. He is interested in the relationship and dichotomy between painting and photography and he contrasts a deadpan, American Photorealist style with English Romantic subjects. Drawn to the strong, dynamic verticals and abstract qualities of tree forms animated by direct sunlight, he sees striated organic pattern akin to a natural Op-Art. His myriad of tiny abstract shapes coalesce like alchemy, to effect a figurative image.

Tim Craven founded The Arborealists in 2013.

Tim Craven
Little Norton, 2014, 24 x 36 ins, casein on canvas

Mon travail explore la dichotomie et la relation entre la peinture et la photographie. Je fais contraster un style photoréaliste impassible avec des sujets romantiques anglais comme les arbres. J'ai toujours été attiré par les verticales fortes et dynamiques, par le drame spatial, par les qualités abstraites des formes des arbres, animées par la lumière du soleil. Je vois un motif organique, zébré, comparable à une sorte d'Op Art naturel. Une myriade de minuscules formes abstraites photomécaniques indépendantes se fondent pour produire une image figurative. Pour moi ces formes peuvent aussi faire référence à l'histoire de l'art.

Après une formation en beaux-arts et en conservation des peintures, j’ai rejoint l’équipe de la Southampton City Art Gallery en 1980. Le privilège de travailler pendant plus de 35 ans auprès de l'une des plus belles collections publiques régionales d'art, couvrant huit siècles, a stimulé ma propre pratique artistique. Une gamme variée de styles et d'idées ont influencé mes peintures : depuis le post-impressionnisme, le surréalisme et le néo-romantisme jusqu’à l’Op Art, l’art systématique et le photoréalisme.