Green Zebra and Cherry Blossom Tree
Gigi Sudbury - 2016.
Oil on paper
Dimensions: 12x12 (27x27cm framed)
I paint the magic of the everyday, the world I know best. I am not interested in commentary or shock. I want to dig into the place left when the id leaves the room. Painting the everyday is not just about what I see, it's what I dream about, give attention to, hear across a room of children playing.
I paint in the kitchen, in the car, in the loft, in the grass – I am not the painter in the studio in self-imposed isolation, door firmly shut. I work with paints of acrylic and oil, crayons, graphite, media that don't mix, felt tip pen, paper, tissue paper and card on the ground in heaps and disarray, a mess that makes sense to me. I do not clear up after a session because I will use the thread of what's left over on my return. I use collage for experimentation and I paint in oil to hone the experiment – it is the grandest pleasure, oil paint takes abuse. I make collage by cutting up my own (failed) pictures, sketches or scraps, old letters typed or hand written. I like the scrawl of handwriting that comes from the body – as we use it less it seems more intimate and expressive.
I would never make a picture that was designed at the start – if I knew how it would look at the beginning I would be removing the point of painting it and I may as well speak it with words.
The green striped zebra in Green Zebra and Cherry Blossom Tree, no more extraordinary than it's black and white cousin, stands out, stands still on the orange earth where a cherry tree blossoms. We are used to the wonder of animals on film, evolutionary science is thriving, the facts are beyond belief... so I paint the meeting point, the magic of a chance combination is a green zebra standing near a beautiful tree. Time to wonder, again! I think van Gogh would have enjoyed that.
I want to paint our digital future because paint sits uncomfortably beside a computer screen and AI and digital control. I paint optimistically while making a shout for painting to hold it's ground and speak about the intricacies of human emotions and the unexpected. I'd be mad to reject our digital future and mad not to have concerns. I'd like to paint AI as lovingly as Chagall painted his wife. I want to stand still and paint when I leave the room.
About Gigi Sudbury
Gigi Sudbury is a versatile and highly-collected artist whose work has been exhibited at England & Co., The Southbank Centre, Royal Overseas League and Leighton House Museum.
Sudbury grew up in Gloucestershire and moved to Paris in her early twenties to learn to paint. Her work is heavily inspired by her studies in Paris, and subsequent time spent in Italy. Prolonged study of early Renaissance artwork and the work of Piero della Francesca imbue Sudbury’s work. Of particular interest to the present day is the act of distilling everyday life into a single moment inspired by this work. Sudbury now lives in Dorset and her work focuses on animals, folklore and the family she surrounds herself with.
Gigi Sudbury was the winner of the Alternative Turner Prize, 2002.