Attracted to both the beauty and the sadness of an inner city landscape, Andy Insh's paintings present us with an internal view of the city.
Insh was born in 1956 and from 1984 to 1988 studied at the Camberwell College of Art and subsequently Middlesex polytechnic, where he completed his Art Foundation and BA in Visual Arts. Describing himself as a Romantic Artist he sees his work as part of a larger tradition which includes artists such as Blake (1757 -1827), Samuel Palmer (1805 - 1881), Stanley Spencer (1851 -1959), Lowry (1887 - 1976) and Cecil Collins (1908-1989). In identifying with these early nineteenth century artists and their visions of reality, Insh also draws strength from their dedication to, and pursuit of, a unique artistic vision - which at times separated them from their fellow contemporaries and severed many links with the art establishment of the day. "All these artists had an individual vision - if not outside, then at least to one side of the art of their day." He says.
At the age of fifty Insh is far from severing links with today's art establishment having already exhibited his work in over forty exhibitions in galleries across London, the UK and in Berlin. Yet, as his career is notably gaining in popularity, there is something of the lonely soul about Insh, his work and the figures within the urban landscape.
Having lived in South London, most of his life, Insh finds inspiration from the people, the streets, markets and buildings familiar to him. "The paintings reflect London, as this is the framework through which I experience things." he says. Using a technique known as pointillism a method of oil painting developed in the 1880s by the French neo-Impressionist Georges Seurat (1859 -1891), he uses tiny dabs of colour that, when viewed from a distance, blend together to make other colours, forms, and outlines, and give an impression of shimmering light. "Although my pictures are based on places I know, I try to represent them not as in reality but rather how they would reappear in a dreamlike or internal reality". Insh says.
Choosing titles which reflect the character of the scene, as apposed to pinpointing a specific place, it is clear that Insh has far more in mind for his work than depicting a postcard view of the urban landscape. "I hope to create a universal meaning that has relevance for all viewers and the resultant pictures will have a meaningful content for the viewer who is unfamiliar with the original places." The powerfully charged atmosphere of South London, usually so crowded with urban life and inner city turmoil is replaced with a sense of beauty, aloneness, silence, and solitude. His reoccurring figures - principally two female figures, down and outs and road sweepers simultaneously reflect the beauty and ugliness of life in the city rather than the city itself. It is here within the vacant depiction of empty spaces and silent streets that the power of his Andy Insh's paintings really lays.
To view Andy Insh's work, general exhibition pages and to look at his biography please click here