On Playpaint

Exhibition at Canonbury Art Shop, Islington

Playpaint make paintings. Gorgeous surfaces and snippets of visual language have arrived on squares of canvas. Carefully scraped or thoughtfully messed. X-rays and radio noise made visual. Repositories for where febrile intuitions come to gestate.

Being in the world as we are, our minds are griddled by film, tea-towel pattern, Fibonacci’s sequence, café signs spelt wrong, contrails, &c. Unceasing tsunamis of signal and repeat. When this comes apart, corrupts, it beggars meaning.

Stay focused. Four paintings tense with reflecting and growing. Residues of contemplation or by-products of discussion, they fizz. They will not sit still.

If you were going to paint, what would you paint, and why?
Surely not portraits of your family. Surely not a landscape of where you grew up.
The question must be: what have we the moral imperative to paint? What is it correct that we paint?

Four acts of bravery hanging on the wall.


1. This is almost a cartoon strip. Or a vicious family album. There’s something about night. Something about a mountain range. Something. Something else. Stains and leftovers have made a home and are fiddling with sense.


2. The day after you know what, the front page of the Evening Standard had a body tumbling down, past the skyscraper windows. You couldn’t make out a face, just that it was a real human. I’m amazed at all the moving on.


3. It’s the green dots that get me here. Sprinkled over the main show. Just enough to almost not be enough to notice, making their point. Do you remember the archaeological site in The Planet of the Apes? Just around the corner from the broken Statue of Liberty.


4. The flash from my phone has entered this reality. What are we to do with these crumbling rods of colour revealed? So carefully imitating industrial accidents on carbon copy paper. Like some paean to book-keeping and thumb prints nesting in a garage workshop decades ago, when television colour was more lurid, in infancy.


About grahamcliffordpoet

Graham is an award winning poet, based in London. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Creative Writing, and has since published nationally and internationally, winning many awards and performing at some of the most prestigious and well known Literary Festivals. His debut collection, The Hitting Game, is published by Seren.
This entry was posted in contemporary art, fine art, modern art, painting, playpaint, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to On Playpaint

  1. shaun says:

    Fantasic analysis of playpaint’s most recent show. Where was it held?

  2. How rude of me! Playpaint were showing at the Canonbury Art Shop, Islington. http://www.canonburyarts.co.uk

  3. Pingback: On Playpaint | grahamcliffordpoet

  4. Pingback: Pine Cone Crafts – Hedgehog | Kids Chaos

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