“Domesticity is only on the surface, yet it provides the tension that real passion lives off…” says Welsh artist Kevin Sinnott, which explains the title Domestic Species for his upcoming exhibition at Flowers Cork street from 10th April - 17th May, 2014.
As one of Wales’ most admired artists, Flowers gallery is delighted that Kevin Sinnott will unveil a new collection of work along familiar themes, which have been reinvented, revisited and explored further. While this collection of works was painted in the second half of 2013 and 2014, the exhibition is almost a personal survey, as it will include Sinnott’s reflections from his sketches of the 1990s, when the artist left London and returned to live and work in Wales.
Known and celebrated for his works such as: Running Away with the Hairdresser, which is housed in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Cardiff, Sinnott captures the same spirit with a fresh approach, in his latest offering. Followers of Sinnott from around the globe will be pleased to see that his new works continue his fascination with human interaction and relationships, where his inimitable emotive creations and clever use of colour, result in an unabashedly powerful pictorial delivery to his audience.
Try! is about a peculiar human passion that is wrapped in tribal identity, chance and triumph. The central figure, a sensually conveyed woman, appears ambivalent, both involved and perplexed in the scene. The flat ground on which the interaction is played out, has been elevated by the use of a decorative layer and the pattern hints at that of a tribal wrap, adding to the exotic overtones and relaxed air of the piece. The movement and underlying eroticism in the painting, is created by the bold use of colour and the angles and position of the characters within it.
Hanging Out is multi-faceted and while it appears to be centred around a domestic chore, on deeper inspection, it reveals themes around sensuality, commitment, respect, family, and community. The washing lines that feature here and in several of Sinnott’s works, he explains, are a “meaningful recurrence”, rather than a purely domestic motif.
Hanging out, says Sinnott, “depicts my utopia”. This utopia he describes is a place where progress has been sidestepped. He alludes to the sense of nature being the stronger force - that natural elements control us and not the other way around. There is an underlying theme of progression in Sinnott’s works and an acceptance of the community harmonising with natural forces, both symbolically and literally.
In Three of Each Sinnott wanted to repeat the success of his work: Cock a Doodle Do, which he explains came about almost by accident, which he puts down to his initial compositions being created freely and almost haphazardly. This piece consists of similar themes to his other works, however in this particular painting he includes domestic birds as the central figures in the foreground, specifically so that they are on an equal footing.
The painting is based on a drawing from one of Sinnott’s sketch books of the 1990s and appears representative of many of his pieces in this collection, in that he is able to make a statement via dramatic, exaggerated movement and the unconventional use of visual semantic fields or symbolism. The domestic and rudimentary aspects juxtapose the deeper layers of Sinnott’s works and the overall effect, whether partaking of the symbolism, or simply enjoying the visual impact of colour and movement, are mesmerising.
Born in Sarn, South Wales in 1947, Kevin Sinnott is a contemporary Welsh artist with a truly international reputation. He trained at Cardiff College of Art & Design, Gloucestershire College of Art & Design and at the Royal College of Art, London. Kevin remained in London throughout the 1970s and 80s, building a very successful career, and exhibiting at leading London galleries, major galleries in the USA and mainland Europe.
Kevin’s work is collected worldwide and he is represented in many important public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His large canvas, ‘Running Away with the Hairdresser’ has proved to be one of the National Museum and Galleries of Wales’s most popular acquisitions.
Kevin returned to live in Wales in 1995 and has quickly established himself at the forefront of the renaissance in Welsh painting. While his work is primarily concerned with human relationships, the influence of the south Wales landscape is strongly felt in his paintings. He was elected to the Royal Cambrian Academy in 2007.