Dale Atkinson is by most definitions of the term a 'narrative artist', but not a particularly obvious one and certainly not a ‘start to finish’ one.
Drawn primarily to the human figure as both subject and vehicle, his paintings and drawings rely upon the dynamo of suggestion to move them forward. They tap in to a short circuited world of intrusive sub plot; where reason is the dummy pill and transient conspiracies of figures, objects, shapes and colour are left to guide the dialogue.
The viewer is tasked with piecing together a narrative from visual clues that seem to slip in and out of focus, like tuning in to an unfamiliar movie half-way through. His canvases are populated by characters preoccupied with their own thoughts and actions, with histories and motives we don’t quite understand. Their mouths are open, perhaps mid-sentence, or maybe with a knowing smile.
Figures exist in an abstract universe, constructed from a rich haze of loose shapes, glazes and scribbled brush marks. He embraces the physical process of painting, allowing the fresh, wet paint to develop its own dialogue with older, eroded layers. What Atkinson calls the ‘psychology of paint’. Through this process, a new world slowly emerges.
Atkinson’s work has been exhibited internationally and is held in both public and private collections throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. In 2008 he was the artist in residence during the construction of Kings Place in London. The resulting work was exhibited at the newly established Kings Place Gallery, and toured to University Gallery, Northumbria University.
Exhibitions at Gallagher & Turner:
18 March - 22 April 2017