In his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, Dominic Shepherd continues to marry a deep and ongoing interest in mythology with a personalised, idiosyncratic worldview. Made as part of the series Old England, the paintings in this exhibition reach beyond the personal and historical to the political.
“To contemplate water is akin to viewing the painted surface; a mirror that reflects the viewer’s standpoint; an intricate surface formed by tortuous rules; underwater lurk the unseen, the ghosts.”
These paintings continue an evolution in Shepherd’s practice where meaning and presence have become increasingly oblique. The ghosts to which he refers are those of the past, who populate a civilisation’s historical narrative, or an individual’s memory or unconscious. As figures navigate idealised land and waterscapes in contemplation, trepidation or with unknowing ease, this hearkening for a paradigmatic time and place should serve as a warning that nostalgic longing can also harbour unseen threat and malevolence.