The central focus of Glenn Ibbitson’s art is the human figure. His life paintings and drawings are developed through a process of careful direct observation. There is here a perpetual search for the telling detail within a convincing overview; the angle between thumb and forefinger; the fall of a breast under its own weight, the tension locking a load-bearing limb. This observational discipline is grafted to a strong sense of narrative and concept.
The extended visual repertory which spans his chosen media can be traced back to a career as a scenic artist between 1988 and 2003 [several years with BBC at Television Centre] for film, television and theatre. Two projects on which he headed the scenic art team won BAFTA awards for design; 'Portrait of a Marriage' 1989 and 'Persuasion' 1994. This time provided opportunities to practice trompe-l’oeil techniques and visual trickery on an industrial scale.
"Until recently, I kept the techniques I employed in scenic art which are more graphic and abbreviated in nature, separate from those employed in my own fine artwork. Lately, I have gradually introduced this wider array of skills to more easily generate a sense of [mis]representation and visual discord in my paintings."
The audience’s perceptions and preconceptions are exploited by subterfuge to blur the line between the genuine and the fraudulent, reality and illusion. Often this visual dexterity is used as cover to smuggle a socio-political message into the work as sub-text.
"If someone waves their right hand at you, it is sound policy to observe closely what they are doing with their left...."
Glenn has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Kyoto, Dortmund and London and has contributed work to various U.K. regional shows. His videos have been shown in Tokyo, Berlin, Rio and London. He is represented by work in private collections across six continents.
He now works full-time from his studio in West Wales.