Paintings, Drawings and 3-D Models
Phil Entwistle paints in oils, sometimes with the addition of ink. His subjects are mainly vertical faces such as mountain or sea cliffs, drawn mainly from the UK but also from Canada and Australia. He works as part of a Professional Practice Collective at Hull College School of Creative Arts, where he has been based since 2007.
Phil looks at the landscape as an object rather than a place, emphasising the physical processes that take place on a geological timescale. Spending time exploring the terrain on foot is an essential part of his working practice. His focus is on the physical form of the rock, often keeping the scale ambiguous.
The activity of painting suggests parallels with geological processes. Gravity controls the flow of paint on a sloping canvas; colour is laid down in strata; brush strokes reconstruct the grain and fractures in the rock. Like the landscape, the surface of a painting may be repeatedly covered and re-exposed.
The exhibition also contains a series of 2-D and 3-D pieces that had come out of a detailed exploration of the landform of the Coniston Fells in Cumbria, both from maps and from observation on the ground.
The work explores the relationship between the fells as represented on a map by countours and spot heights, and their appearance in reality. One of his works was a technical perspective drawing constructed using over 900 spot-heights. Another was a relief map built up in contour layers, which was then developed into a mould to produce a plaster cast. Paintings were made from this “still-life” object, as if it were an overhead view of the fells, with lighting to simulate morning and afternoon sunlight.
Phil and his work are also on Instagram at a.geological.artist.
Since 2016 my work has been focused on one type of rock, and a specific part of England. Slate displays such a surprising range of textures and colours that it’s an absorbing subject for painting. The locations are all (so far) in Cumbria, and particularly in Borrowdale and around Coniston. I’ve spent happy days exploring, sketching and photographing the many disused quarries. The most spectacular one I’ve visited is the Cathedral Quarry in Tilberthwaite, a few miles north of Coniston.
Over the same period I’ve begun to paint on aluminium rather than the traditional artist’s canvas. I was looking for a white surface smooth enough to take pencil drawing as well as oil paints, and the metal surface prepared with several thin coats of gesso meets that requirement.