Simon Carter - Figuratively Speaking

Carter 01

Light on the Sea, 2011. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 130cm


‘The shoreline represents a philosophical divide that prompts the artist to question where he stands in relation to the world. Behind the extraordinary vitality and assurance of these paintings lies an interrogative spirit motivated by forces of experimentation and doubt. Again and again Simon Carter returns to the same landscape motifs, questioning the relative nature of his perceptions and how they can be synthesised into art.’
Jill Lloyd 2011

‘In this meeting place of earth, air and water, the locus of nature’s endless alchemy, Carter finds a metaphor for his own painterly transfiguration. A lot of his time is spent inventing structures and exploring possibilities - trying to find the right physical expression in paint of his understanding of a very particular place.’
Andrew Lambirth 2018


It might seem doubly unfashionable to paint and then to make those paintings about landscape. But I’d like to think that the slowness and directness of walking, drawing and painting opens up the possibilities of real insight and connection, and that landscape, being fit subject for serious painting, provides the necessary levels of uncertainty and discovery for painting to flourish.

I grew up on the flat coast of North East Essex, a world orientated by the constant horizon, and the meaning in my painting activity is rooted in this landscape, one that is not immediately picturesque but has a quality of otherness. I make small, gnomic drawings outdoors. The act of drawing encourages slowing down and a more intense regard. I tend to draw the same things over and over seeking territory beyond the familiar. I don’t use photography as it brings too much extraneous information into the studio. The paintings then develop by dissecting the drawings for marks, structures, patterns and insights.

Paths on the Cliff, 2009. 140x145cm

Paths on the Cliffs, 2009. Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 145cm

Quay Lane Sluice, 2017. 110x120cm

Quay Lane Sluice, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 110 x 120cm

istant, 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 110 x 120cm

Distant, 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 110 x 120cm

Find out more about Simon Carter and his work on his website and gallery site

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