Brian Neish is fascinated by painted surfaces, especially those that have endured the extremes of sunlight, wind, frost and rain.
He refers to these debilitating effects as ‘Noble Decay’. He sees an increasing richness in their unique visual qualities with the passage of time.
Brian’s develops his initial ideas from the study of ageing architectural objects. These include walls, shutters, doors, signs and panels.
His work rarely depicts the original source objects. Rather he extracts, then processes, com-positional ideas gleaned from them. He then attempts to express something of their collective and essential nature.
More recently he has been inspired by objects in rural settings in both Arizona and California.
When he is back in the studio, the working process that Brian adopts will be dependent on the nature of the decaying surface that he wants to explore.
He may choose to incorporate layers of oil colour impasto or acrylic in order to build up textural effects. After this, he will then rub down the surface to reveal marks and textures that are hidden beneath.
Regardless, his focus is always in expressing something of the qualities of the paint as a material in its own right.
This process is augmented by his careful selection of complimentary colours as he builds up the layers.
Brian aspires to mirror the way ‘real’ architectural objects are repeatedly painted over many years. According to how his work is interpretated, this could be as if with time-lapse, or compressed. As a result of this, when viewing Brian’s work, it is the substance of the paint that provokes ideas about the passage of time.