Eric Cruikshank


Eric Cruikshank Biography

b. 1975

Taking landscape as an initial starting point, my paintings are not about literal presentation; instead the focus is on the emotive qualities of place. Using an objective palette tied to the Scottish landscape, colour acts as a vehicle to reveal the picture planes underlying points of reference. With the structure, design, and colour harmony being grounded in the everyday, the viewer is encouraged to readdress notions of their surroundings, where the familiar is opened up and made full of possibility.

With the works coming out of the territory of traditional art and values, through process and presentation, a dialogue opens up between the past and present, the historical and the contemporary. Despite an allusion to the social, spiritual and material contexts within the field of my art, the principal criteria always come back to the base construct elements. Shape, colour, and surface build the foundational support and elevate the works concepts, allowing the viewer to uncover layers of potential meaning as each element is considered. In the absence of imagery or narrative, the panels are left open to interpretation, as an almost blank plane to reflect the viewers own emotions and ideas.

By applying the paint in thinly layered colour bands, and utilising a subtraction technique, the surface is worked until a balance is reached. The delicate forms that remain give the effect of a monochromatic finish when first viewed. Through the resulting veil of paint, shimmering traces of tone flicker on the edge of focus, where the surface holds the gentlest luminosity and modulating volume. The works are completed with a meticulous level of control, creating a plane that bears no brush marks, removing evidence of the hand of the artist and any imprint of technique. With this removal, the colour field comes under closer scrutiny - on approaching the work, colour pulses in constantly shifting patterns, on withdrawing, these patterns blend, bleed and fuse into a vibrant continuous field, inviting a highly tuned visual attentiveness. The refined shade and contour lead the eye around the piece, gently engaging the viewer in the act of seeing, where their relationship with the work is one of continual change, as the ethereal surface vibrates with an inner light and rhythm that appears to expand outwards beyond the border, activating the space around and between the pieces.