Glenn's art is an expansive oeuvre comprising several distinct projects, each pursued with a single-minded conviction.
“The subject has to resonate with me personally. I'm not a crusading artist but if something moves me, I feel compelled to respond to it through my work.”
Crucially, he allows himself to follow that gut feeling with no concern for his potential audience or for the commercial viability of the work. Just as his country home is pleasantly isolated, so is his position in relation to the rest of the art world. And he wants to keep it that way.
“The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that distance from the contemporary art scene is no bad thing. Because I have never had a high profile, I do not need to serve up a specific product for a particular market, agent or gallery and there is no obligation to follow trends. I am able to keep my options open. I can step from one project to the next, adopting any medium I choose. I work on things I can believe in, not on work I am obliged to produce.”
FIGURE WORK: The human figure is my predominant subject; not the idealised, commercialised model of contemporary celebrity-driven culture, but the everyday body with its myriad imperfections. The isolated figure, vulnerable and self-absorbed, is observed as a scape in which particular details are carefully depicted; the asymmetry of a pair of ears, the pull of flesh between finger and thumb, the sideways fall of a breast under its own particular weight.
PORTRAITURE: A natural extension of my interest in figure work. Sitters are usually friends, though commissions are undertaken
Moth Paintings. The nature of obsession and hiding within plain sight...
A suite of narrative works located in the milieu of the circus and the sideshow tableau. The players in this ensemble drama are:
1] 'Human Curiosities': mermaids and conjoined twins represent variations from the average [or currently fashionable norm] of human physiology. They are ciphers for the extremes within the genetic pool which are now threatened by a society with the technological capability to intervene and implement [un]natural selection.
2] 'Performers': tumblers, magicians and their assistants performing extraordinary stunts. Physical and temporal skill is contrasted with sleight of hand; the individual act of brilliance with deceptions perpetrated through collusion and teamwork.
Reading these works as a commentary on contemporary society should not be discouraged...
This medium was initially adopted collage to sidestep a period of artists block; utilising high quality magazine print as source material. Originally investigated as a mosaic technique with the paper chosen only for its colour and tone, my approach relaxed once the potentiality of the actual image fragments insinuated themselves into the compositions.
Increasingly, the success of a work hinges on the one piece of torn paper which provides that special intersection of textural or colour juxtaposition, not evident in its original form when embedded in the printed page. It cannot be manufactured; it is discovered, and usually only by accident. Its incorporation represents the point at which the composition assumes a life of its own and deviates positively from the original plan.
Surfaces are constantly adjusted through a series of overlayerings, and areas of particular detail are more painstakingly constructed with smaller paper fragments.
A unique characteristic of this form of collage is the variation in focus which one is able to achieve by combining the printed image edges with the physical tears of the paper fragment itself, producing ambiguities of form and space
human trafficking: referencing the high risk strategies employed in acts of global transmigration, either voluntary or coerced, and those situations into which people are willing to place themselves and/or others, in the [often vain] hope of improving their economic circumstances.
The paintings and prints are all square in format, with dimensions ranging from 8cm to 92cm, and have all been painted and designed to hang any way up."
The project has been constructed from multiple series of works which share the same dimensions, medium and specific colour range. These are grouped as batches and are individually file numbered rather than given titles, to emphasise the objectification of the subject; humanity reduced to mere commodity.
Inspired by the counter-intuitive concept of ‘Dazzle Camouflage’ which was employed on some allied shipping during the Great War and WWII; not to offer concealment -quite the contrary, to make it difficult for the enemy to estimate the target’s range, speed, and heading.
Here the figure is partially concealed by a target pattern projected across a room. This simultaneously alters spatial cognition and yet signals a human presence by interpretation of the modified pattern.
The concentric rings may also be read as a sight or target. The individual under surveillance; vulnerable. Every move monitored and recorded, both by the state and those multinational corporations whose profiling algorithms analyse online data freely revealed with unforeseen social and financial consequences for their quarry.
A suite of paintings from the project "Little Histories of Fragile Creatures"; a book of characters whose pre-digital life stories have stories have disappeared from view. Jo Jo Johnson's biography [and her dummy, Joe] merited further development.