Group Zero (Gruppo Origine)

The group was founded in Rome in 1951 by Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla, Giuseppe Capogrossi and Mario Ballocco. Critical of what they saw as the increasingly decorative quality of abstract art at the time.

By openly renouncing three-dimensional forms, by reducing colour to it’s simplest, peremptory and incisive expressive function, by evoking…pure and elemental images, the Group’s artists express the necessity of a rigorous, coherent, energetic vision (which is) primarily antidecorative.’ 

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with Love and Colour portraits…Ok, after completing the series of portraits featured on the previous post, I felt compelled to dismantle the images, to reduce them further, explore, and see where I, or they arrived. Love and Colour was never intended as a creative service that would attempt to recreate photographs through highly detailed illustrations, Love and Colour is a creative service that offers to express a version of your photograph that you have not previously seen.

So back to the group of Italian artisits who attempted to dismantle the trends of the time and explore new territory by reducing colour to it’s simplest form and set about creating pure and elemental images. 

The Group Zero portraits as featured below, are a response to my own work, an exploration into simplicity and expression. A new and exciting chapter for Love and Colour as I tear down constraints that I may have placed on myself.

Let’s pursue ghosts…

“Let’s pursue ghosts, and – as you say – the ‘principle of their disappearance’. ” The Shaw river in Australia runs through the rocks of the Strelley Pool Chert preserve, an environment that existed 3.43 billion years ago, including several kinds of fossils called stromatolites. Stromatolites have traditionally been defined as remains of ancient life forms…several different kinds of stromatolites in the Strelley Pool Chert, such as big domes, big cones, little cones, waves and even shapes looking like giant egg cartons.

“…because it can never bring back what I once loved – because of all that, drawing is an intense expression of the defect of distance.” A period of intense asteroid shelling called the Late Heavy Bombardment that ended 3.8 billion years ago. “If life could find a foothold here, and leave such an imprint that vestiges exist even though only a minuscule sliver of rock is all that remains from that time, then life is not a fussy, reluctant and unlikely thing. Give life an opportunity and it’ll run with it.”

“Do you think HE can hear us? If he listened, I’m sure he’d hear us but I don’t feel he is listening. Something about absence. I fear I’m talking to myself. That’s what drawings do, they talk to themselves. Where are you? I’m here. In a room? The corner of a room. What’s in it? A round table with a cloth on it. Exactly like here. Can you describe it?” The Acasta Gneiss is a tonalite gneiss in the slave craton in Northwest Territories, Canada. The rock body is exposed on an island about 300 kilometres north of Yellowknife. The rock of the outcrop was metamorphosed 3.58 to 4.031 billion years ago and is the oldest known intact crustal fragment on Earth.

As my exploration with Love and Colour continues, this experimental series of abstract drawings investigates the lines that make us who and what we are. Portraits of, from where we came. (These drawings follow lines of the river beds, fossils and rock formations featured and are available as a limited edition print run of 100, see ‘Prices and Sizes’ tab for more detail.)

The Portrait

“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled” John Berger.

A huge thanks to Rachel Davidson who acted as creative lead on this portrait project, casting a sharp eye and exceptional colour intuition, resulting in some of Love and Colour’s most striking work.

A life of Love and Colour

Rose small

How does a child see the world? With no filter and with a radiance and vibrancy that only youth allows. If I spend enough time around my children, in their world and not imposing my will and world on them, I see things pretty close to how I remember my childhood; colourful, magical, mysterious and breathtakingly beautiful.

My seven-year-old daughter regularly grabs my hand and escorts me to the trampoline in our garden. Displaying intuition beyond her years, this is usually at a time when I am focusing wasted energy on something that hasn’t happened and may never happen. The result is always the same, without exception, if I allow myself to enter into her world of Love and Colour. Bouncing higher than the trees, perfecting tricky mid-air manoeuvres and my daughter contorting her face trying to disguise her amusement at my adult frame creating dangerously large impressions on the tightly stretched trampoline.

There is so much more to life, if we allow for a little Love and Colour.

Photograph courtesy of Beatrice Photography

Creating art out of art?

sally and mike

Creating art out of art?

Love and Colour just loves to collaborate. Recent collaborations have included working with the fabulous Beatrice Photography, the unique and truly original London based T shirt design company, and now with the very talented Andrew Wade Photography. The Love and Colour portrait featured above is taken from a fantastic photograph of Andrew’s which perfectly captures that magic moment, which will be etched into the memory of Sally and Mike and everyone present at the moment they were greeted by their loved ones as, husband and wife amongst a shower of confetti.

Huge thanks to and of course Sally and Mike. Wishing you a future filled with Love and Colour.

The Colour of Protection

Beatrice PhotographyIt is on very rare occasions that I am literally stopped in my tracks by such a beautiful image. When presented with a powerful photograph by Beatrice Photography, this is exactly what happened. A simple, instinctive gesture of protecting our own. Such a strong bond stunningly portrayed, of protector, and protected, clearly captured through the eyes of both Mother and Daughter.

With only one question for Love and Colour left to answer…What is the Colour of protection.

The resulting portrait responds to the original with vividity, strength and vibrance, which thankfully were met with appreciation from our customer, who approached Love and Colour with work of unnervingly high standards.

Thank you and congratulations on your exceptional work.

Purple hair!

joe trptych

I had a few reservations about presenting this Love and Colour portrait to my thirteen-year-old son. Like many teenage boys, Joe is not overly keen on being photographed. Put this alongside Joe’s love of pointing out inaccuracies in… pretty much everything, (one of his favourite TV programmes is Great Movie Mistakes, which is a programme entirely based around inconsistencies between camera shots), and it becomes clear why I was a little apprehensive presenting Joe with this large, multi coloured print depicting him with mainly purple hair, with the exception of some dashes of yellow, pink, red, blue and green, oh, and wearing a top so colourful it could make a rainbow feel a bit dull.

The reaction…A grin appeared on Joe’s face followed with, “That’s really cool, I like it”. My desperate attempts to act casual went out of the window as a smile instantly imprinted itself on my face of the kind that gives you aching cheeks.

Joe has not objected to the framing or hanging of the artwork, and so far there have been no demands to take it down when his friends come over, in fact, Joe has been overheard countering an interested stare from one of his friends with “My Dad did that”. Now if that isn’t Love and Colour, then I don’t know what is.