EBB & FLOW :: Michael Craik


Sat, 5 November 2022 - Wed, 30 November 2022

Tue - Fri 10 - 5pm, Sat 10 - 4pm


&Gallery - 3 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QG

Further info

Cost: Free

Further details

Type: Exhibition

Michael Craik :: Ebb & Flow

The &Gallery is pleased to present, Ebb & Flow, a new body of work from Scottish artist Michael Craik.

Arriving outside Michael Craik’s coastal studio in Fife, the senses are engulfed by an expanse of sky and the endlessly shifting colours of the sea as they vanish into the distant horizon of the Forth Estuary. The uninterrupted ebb and flow of these waters form a subconscious backdrop to Craik’s daily studio routine, a metronome to his unhurried and deliberate painting process. Entering inside, one finds evidence of orderliness and deliberation on display. Neat rows of flat brushes hang next to organised shelves of acrylic paint. Sketchbooks are reserved, not for studies, but for endless pages of paint swatches and calculations for mixing – drops of colour precisely counted and acrylic mediums accurately weighed to determine exactly the correct colour and opacity of the next layer of paint. And yet, although the method appears rigorous, controlled and formulaic, the choices remain intuitive, natural and emotional.

Craik’s process is one of adding and subtracting, of reduction and distillation. Each work is slowly and meticulously crafted over weeks and months by repeatedly brushing, spreading and pouring layers of translucent acrylic paint. The painting goes on a journey. One moment it exists as a block of vivid, opaque, monochromatic colour, only to be tempered and transformed later by subsequent veils of paint. At regular intervals the painted surface is sanded flat, removing all brush marks to leave a pebble smooth surface and uninterrupted fields of colour, which dissolve and melt across the surface, fading to the edges where fine bands of saturated colour have been exposed.

The contrasting edges of Craik’s paintings become the horizon for each painting, a boundary containing illusory spaces of colour that echo memories of light and place. These are quiet, contemplative spaces that encourage the viewer to pause and reflect. All painterly textures and marks have been erased, yet the ebb and flow of colour across the picture plane mirrors the push and pull of the process each work undergoes – the layering and uncovering of paint, the coming and going of ideas, and ultimately the passage of time.

Ebb & Flow is Michael Craik’s second solo exhibition with &Gallery. Craik was born in Edinburgh in 1972 and has worked as an artist in Scotland for over 20 years. He studied Fine Art at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen before completing an MA in European Fine Art in Barcelona. A recipient of several awards, Craik’s work has been widely exhibited internationally and is represented by galleries in Scotland, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and the USA.

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