Jack House Gallery‘s second exhibition in Portsmouth’s newest gallery is an exhibition of painter Ben Walker’s arresting figurative images. Misty and haunting, like unexpectedly retrieved childhood memories, the artist works mainly on coarse grained linen which accentuates the otherworldly qualities of these shadowy episodes. Influenced by postcard art and by an illustrative style familiar from vintage children’s books, winner of the Jack Goldhill Painting prize, Walker approaches colour in a subdued, unhurried way adding to the ethereal narrative of pictures that linger long in the imagination.
“I use photos and other ‘found’ source materials such as old children’s book illustrations for my paintings. Over the last year or so I have become interested in making representations of childhood rooted in the past, often 1970s and 80s,” he says. “It has to be a scene or composition I feel I can translate into paint and I think the act of translating the image means it becomes mine. It’s impossible to say how I choose some images over others. I like simple compositions and I try to show a lot with very little,” often leaving out something substantial from the original, “so the painted image is a simplified condensed version.”
The exhibition runs from Saturday 16th May to the 20th June and is free. You can find this great new gallery in Old Portsmouth, check their website for more details: