Richard Hoare ‘Helios’

The latest works by Richard Hoare see him returning to a theme that extends the tendencies of all his work hitherto, dissolving further into abstraction and away from the more literal figuration. His work is still nonetheless still rooted firmly in the landscape and most importantly, Light.

According to ancient mythology, Helios, the sun god was the all-seeing witness to human antics as well as being the god of sight. He is often depicted in art with with a radiant crown and driving a horse-drawn chariot through the sky. For Richard Hoare however, his manifestation is more subtle – woven like a tapestry into every painting and emerging from it, shattering the surface of the picture plane in infinitesimal flickers of paint.

The sun is the source of life; the underpinning of all that we see, not just an extraneous force beaming down upon us from on high. It is integral, Hoare’s paintings seem to say, emanating from every leaf, blade of grass, and sprig of lichen. ‘And then there are the last two years that have forced into being, a light of a different sort’ says Hoare.

‘During the last few years there have been times when I was unable to travel to the sites that I have usually worked in as a painter; the Western coastal extremes of Ireland and Scotland, Japan and France. These were locations that for many years had become part of the rhythm of my working year, just like a farmer might have a rhythm in the progression working round the fields on their farm.’

‘Helios is not only an ancient term for a mythic deity, it can also describe the space that we all reach for inside ourselves when we create or express something’ he adds. ‘So for a painter, ‘Helios’ could stand for both the Light in the landscape that inspires and the more subtle metaphysical inner Light that he or she reaches for in creating their work.’

‘Being denied the possibility to travel freely, the inner sense that seeks this Light became more honed and sensitive to the Sun and the rotation of our existence relative to the Sun.’

The scenes pictured in this show range from the etherised white light of a beech copse in the Pennines in a Winter sunset to the diaphanous and golden aura of a Summer dawn in East Sussex – the specifics of each place yielding to the experience of light that feeds the soul.



Richard Hoare

[ 1967
- Present ]
Richard has been painting ever since he left school – a vocational painter in the truest sense. The Inspiration for his work goes back to some of his earliest memories of the forests around his Father’s farm in East Anglia. This was magnified by his experiences walking the Pilgrim routes of England, France and Spain, drawing and recording the all the way.

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