Artist: Tristram Lansdowne
Exhibit Name: Paintings
Gallery: Le Gallery
Interviewed by: Barbara Isherwood
Aired on ArtSync: 11 November 2011
In his interview with Barbara Isherwood, watercolour painter and 2011 RBC Painting Championship finalist Tristram Lansdowne discusses his meticulous landscapes, which often depict realistic urban environments existing symbiotically with natural and fantastical elements.
Tristram’s work draws from a number of influences from art history. As Barbara oberves, the Romantic painters of the 19th century frequently depicted ruins, often as a symbol for the transience and fragility of human life, as well as signalling nature’s reclamation of the constructed landscape.
The Romantic painters focused on ruins as a means of referencing human fatalistic concerns, but for Tristram they exist as their own singular signifier, saying “I’m intrerested in [ruins] as life forms of their own…new lives that are vying for control in one structure.” Here the ruins become detached from their human origin and take on their own meaning, one of growth and possibility instead of decay.
While he also draws on natural history and architectural illustrations, Lansdowne’s use of stark backgrounds references most blatantly the techniques of 18th century botanical illustration. By treating these buildings as objects of study, rather than places, they transform into their own unique organisms, closer to the rare species documented by historical botanists than simple reflections of human development.
You can view more of Tristram’s work on the Le Gallery’s website
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