20.11.21 - 29.01.22
Simon Stone’s New Paintings mark both a departure and an arrival, in both medium and methodology. Acutely influenced by the lockdown period, these recent works construct new lives for themselves beyond the isolation of COVID-19, but Stone is not new to the idea of fabrication. His work, highly influenced by his extensive travels, comes not from his imagination but from his visual stimulus of notebooks, magazines, sketch pads and online media.
The large scale painting titled Ruin (2021), depicts archeological ruins of the classical style on a bright, clear day. We are at once emerged into the landscape by the size and realistic rendering of the familiar scene, but something forces distance between us. Perhaps it is the flash of white, puncturing the centre of the image and reminding one of travel photos taken through car windows; or it may be the hashtag carefully written in paint along the bottom which, when typed into the browser, brings up hundreds of similar images of architectural sites. Stone’s process, informed by his curiosity for imagery and experience, did not need to travel too far from its usual course, even under the extenuating circumstances.
While the immediate influences had to change, his prolific practice of gathering and consolidating various visual components was able to continue. His move away from oil paint to acrylic, brought on by a lack of supply, allowed Stone to make work on a larger, faster scale, whilst maintaining his dependence on his vast personal archive of sketches and cutouts. For Stone, this time of isolation proved to be a fertile ground. These new paintings spark both fresh and familiar interest. Within Stone’s new compositions we are reacquainted with his eye for detail and his appreciation of the absurd. Indeed, each viewing uncovers new substance, a segue via his talismanic symbols, and a testament to his decade-spanning perseverance and commitment to his craft.