My name is Elliott Packham and I’m an artist mostly based in Birmingham and the surrounding area. I’ll be exhibiting a variety of paintings and limited edition prints at Lux Gallery, 13 Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3AU during Birmingham Open Studios. My work will be at the gallery on all four days and I’ll be there in person on 24th & 25th September, so will be able to talk about my work and answer any questions.
My artworks are large scale pieces based on the facades of buildings that I have visited and photographed. Each piece is made by firstly making a technical drawing of the structure and then introducing acrylic paint to fill in different parts of the drawing, using masking tape to achieve straight lines.
I focus on capturing the shapes within the building’s façade along with some key details, as well as the shadows created by the natural light. I also take building out of its context, which forces the viewer to be confronted with the form of the structure alone. This transforms the work from simply just being a building, to instead being a semi-abstract pattern of shape and colour that has no beginning or end. By also removing texture and other distractions, I aim to showcase the beauty I find in the simple lines, shapes and patterns of this type of architecture.
As well as depicting a buildings’ design aesthetic, I also imply the presence of human occupants by including the irregularities they create in the building’s façade. For example, these could be curtains, blinds or objects visible through the windows such as furniture or appliances. This breaks up the patterns created by the window frames and give the eye areas to focus on when looking at the painting. These reminders of human activity are included to make the viewer wonder about all of the different lives being lived behind the seemingly never-ending façade.
My paintings take a long time to produce, typically 400 – 500 hours per work. This is mostly due to the need to mask and unmask each layer of paint, as well as applying 3-4 coats to achieve a solid block of each colour. Producing art in a very controlled way using rulers, calculators, protractors, set squares and masking tape might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but I get a lot of satisfaction from the precise and clean nature of the result!
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