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DOMINIC MADDEN

Ink paintings and collage

I am a landscape painter graduating from central saint martins, with a particular interest in depicting streams and rivers I have visited in the UK and further afield; namely Lebanon, Iran and China. Many of the locations have been discovered from solitary journeys upstream, waist deep in water carrying nothing but a camera, sketchbook and felt tips.’
Many of these paintings delight in the myriad complexity and fecundity of the river bank. The core impulse is to make sense of, and impose order on the kaleidoscopic chaos of vegetal forms actual and reflected through their reduction to specific forms, patterns and colour schemes. From 5 basic colours, Dominic mixes a further 14 which are then diluted and applied without mixing the colours further.
The river acts as a common thread linking widely different terrains and cultures;
Ink is applied to xuan paper with chinese brushes, which evokes the more calligraphic style of traditional Chinese shan shui (mountain water) painting; where the eye is drawn across the painting rather than into it (passage as opposed to depth) and where the bare paper is often visible. Non-western materials and techniques are used to question, interrupt and reverse the dominant western narrative.
The river symbolises the origin of life, the well spring from which every aspect of our modern world emerges. As with Christianity's Garden of Eden, the Islamic paradise is described as a garden with 'flowing streams and perpetual food and shade'.