Video coming soon:
John Blackburn in conversation
The round table discussion was held on Tuesday 11 December from 5-6.30pm in ‘Studio 3 Gallery’ in the Jarman Building, University of Kent. The discussion was led by Dr Frances Guerin (Head of Film) with contributions from Professor Martin Hammer (History & Philosophy of Art) and Dr Ben Thomas (History & Philosophy of Art/ Studio 3 gallery curator).
Studio 3 gallery curator Ben Thomas said: ‘The title of the Studio 3 exhibition And God Cryed refers to the Holocaust, and is also one of a series of very personal texts deployed in a group of ‘black’ paintings executed in a variety of materials including.
According to Blackburn his abstract paintings have their roots in the human condition: ‘I suppose, that’s what my painting’s about’, he says, ‘life itself is terribly dangerous, terribly cruel, terribly rewarding. All these things at once. This multi-faceted, wonderful jewel – which we all live with and die with – is there. We’re saddled with it, like it or not.’
Martin Hopkinson writes in the catalogue essay of Blackburn’s recent paintings: ‘The blackness, the words of the inscriptions, and their partial obliteration all express Blackburn’s deep concerns with the human condition and human behavior, but they should not be read as indicating a bleak outlook on life, as anybody meeting and conversing with this ebullient man, still burning with energy, soon realizes. He has engaged in a lifelong struggle in ‘a dangerous place’, facing significant decisions for his art every few minutes, as he strives to stay on the right side of the very fine line between success and failure’.
What’s on next in the Studio 3 Gallery?
Image: John Blackburn, ‘And God Cryed’, 2011/12, mixed media on board.