Giles Ford began transferring a collection of both voluminous and miniature paintings from his studio to Rook Lane Chapel yesterday. I’d seen images of his work – but hadn’t yet seen any in the flesh – and they are COLOURFUL. His exhibition: ‘To the land where the bong tree grows’ is a playful exploration of the Owl and the Pussycat.
Giles’ floral still life paintings have an abstract edge – with bongs dotted over the oil paintings in a vast and varied (but always brightly coloured) palette. And then there are his little canvases with fluorescent bongs so textured – they appear to be jumping out of the painting.
Four of us walked around the gallery yesterday – rearranging the canvases so that each of the works complement each other and lead the viewer round the spacious chapel – but also stand alone as the wonderfully original and unique paintings that they are.
Giles’ father, Aubrey Ford, is also an artist. His portraits will be hung in the café area. The contrast between Giles’ bonkers bong paintings and Aubrey’s sensitive portraits of young children is interesting. Like a rebellious child; Giles is forcing as much colour and noise and obscurity into the chapel as possible, whilst his father sits quietly in the annexe behind – concentrating on capturing the innocence of childhood. A perfect paradox.
The exhibition will preview at the Festival Launch Party on Thursday 7 July, open to the public on Saturday 9 July and close on Saturday 20 August.