Knots

1 – 4 September 2016

Finlay Abbott Ellwood

Finlay Abbott Ellwood’s work is rooted in his observation of the knots that tie people, places and things together. Events, objects, literature and his extensive archive of found images inform much of his work. He is disciplined and selective in his observations but it is through interacting with materials that they are expressed freely, almost subconsciously. Finlay’s upbringing in St Ives means that he understands the climate and the history of Cornish art.

The work of Roger Hilton was with him during his childhood which allowed a freedom of expression rather than casting an artistic shadow. This freedom of expression; mark making, openness, colour, design, form and subject matter is possible because Finlay thinks using the medium. His use of text acts as a compositional line, drawing the eye across the surface and setting the image in context, hinting at its meaning even if it is only partly legible. The written/painted word is always bold; nailing and electrifying the work into our space as the viewer.

This, along with Finlay’s ability to create a figure or object out of so few marks, is fundamental to his work. The inspiration for the title of this exhibition comes from a book called Knots by R.D. Laing. Through various short poems and scenarios, R.D. Laing looks at the knots that exist in experiences and relationships, and describes how people tie themselves in knots in trying to understand them.