Simon Manfield is a West Yorkshire-based artist working primarily with traditional media. The process of drawing is fundamental to his practice and is representational in nature, often portraying the figure within a landscape or the quiet landscape alone.
His drawings are recollections, delineations of memory. They are narratives; stories made up of time and observation; comprising layers and line, detail upon detail. The marks define volume, describing density, texture and light, intertwining and holding form together like the sewn thread of a garment, or like contour lines on a map. They are the transference of knowledge gained over time; evidence of space and terrain walked and experienced, triggering memory, stopping and looking again.
Methodology is important. He takes time over what he creates, taking time to contemplate the world inhabited by his subjects. Research is integral to the process. He hopes the observer will pause, look deep within the drawn lines, the tonal spaces, to make up their own minds, to construct their own stories, meanings and imaginings. But have patience; this realisation may not be immediate.
The work exhibited here comprises a small representation of two long term projects and a one-off land/seascape: ‘Orcadians: Seven Impromptus’, a series of drawings responding to the poem cycle of the same name by Orkney writer George Mackay Brown, and ‘St Kilda: Monuments and memory’, a collection exploring ideas of migration, belonging and space. Its title comes from the sense of grandeur that can be expounded by landscape and the traces of memory we leave upon and within its composition. ‘Leaving Ullapool’ is a pictorialised recollection of a journey taken many times.
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