My paintings, drawings and sculptures of imaginary human form primarily explore the role of imagination in our outer and inner experiences. 

 

In 2018, after fifteen years of painting abstractly I was drawn to work figuratively and felt compelled to express deeper human feeling in my work. I never stopped a practice of regular life drawing or looking at figurative art. However, new questions were impossible to ignore and formed a basis for my work to this day. I questioned human likeness, identity and their authenticity. I investigated how our imaginations may invent who we think we are, how we feel and perhaps everything we experience. 

 

It was the decision to paint imaginary people that created the space and structure for me to explore my own depths of feeling, and more broadly how our feelings and imaginations behave to create our reality. 

 

In my work practice I principally aim to bring about a feeling of life, not really in a narrative sense, but locked into the paint itself. As my figures and heads became more fractured and free the opportunity to imbue even more feeling into the paint became apparent and urgent. 

 

All my works are unplanned and are completely imaginary, with no direct source material. I constantly push against illustration and towards accident. I believe any kind of illustration takes away from a sense of feeling and life in the work.

 

My figures are deliberately often gender non-specific and don’t rely on a particular narrative or story. This ambiguity serves to keep the works open, diverted from too much thought, and allows more of what I call life-ness to exist in the work. 

As I develop my work practice, I remain committed to the same framework of depicting imaginary humans to express a feeling of life, whilst continuing to explore philosophical questions about how much of life exists solely within.

 © 2020 Michael Pemberton