Based in Oban, Andy Spink grew up in Ilkley, Yorkshire, exploring the moors, crags and valleys. Although he always knew he wanted to make art Andy also became addicted to rock climbing and this led to continued exploration of the landscapes of the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands and the Alps.
In the 1980s Andy attended Cardiff Art College, completing a BA Hons in Fine Art Painting. Following this, he co-founded an outdoor pursuits company which he continues to work with today.
Today, Andy is able to combine his love of the outdoors with his passion for being creative. It is his deep connection with the landscape and world around him that attracts me to his practise. On every adventure and outing he makes, Andy takes with him sketchbook and paints, recording and documenting his experiences. His work is intuitive, reflective of, and responsive to the environment around him.
This exhibition is a collection of drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, all made in direct response to the Scottish landscape.
What compels you, as an artist, to produce and create work?
I have always wanted to record by making visual images. I have an innate need to create whilst being immersed in experiences, be those exploring the landscape or through human interaction.
I can't NOT make images - I make art to engage myself, to satisfy a need to be creative. The process of putting pencil to paper or paint to canvas is a daily requirement. Much is discarded. But the discarding is as important as the final piece. It is a learning process, a way of seeing and telling.
The creating of work is also a way of remembering, of describing and conveying emotion.
I am excited by the process of accidental happenings, by the result of making marks and by what remains on the surface. I am constantly experimenting with finding new ways of conveying subject matter and I find it hard to just work in one style or medium.
What do you hope to communicate to an audience through your work?
The collection of work in this exhibition is primarily about seeing in different ways and challenging an audience’s perceptions and expectations of what the landscape is. I want to share the process of my journeying, of my experience of being directly involved in the environment, rather than a voyeur on the horizon.
I hope that my work conjures in the mind of a viewer thoughts and questions and encourages a new way of seeing the environment.
I hope that the audience finds beauty in the pieces. If a viewer enjoys, understands, questions, relates or appreciates my work then that is truly wonderful.
Tell us a little of your methods of working.
I am compelled to paper! I adore the surface. I adore the variety of mark that can be achieved and found. I am excited by experimenting in real time – with discovering what occurs as I make.
Oil painting is an adventure - Wet into wet and accidental happenings, the surface, the brush movement.
Often work is made in one session, reflecting the ever changing scene of a landscape. Like passing through a landscape or briefly being in love, it's how that moment is remembered, committed to memory.
Physicality of creating is important but so are the more gentle, cerebral moments.