© John Read 2012-22

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The Emergent Properties (2021-22) began in the darkening light of the Covid 19 extended restrictions. Following my drain cover works - Songs of the Earth and Guardians of the Underworld -  I began to collage the elements in a deeper 3D space, rendering them as realist photographic works. Motor cycle engines, being exposed, are ready made for morphing into beings, expressions of the creative life force which may be at work within seemingly innocuous robotics. Cynicism has returned.

The recent works in the ‘Cover Stories’ (Histoires de Couverture) 2020 series again engages with masking but now reflecting on those layers beneath your feet hidden by time in an archaeological frame yet aligned with the use of decorative covers for books (masking!). This is a form of ‘écriture automatique’ - done by Nature.

From the end of 2017 I wanted to find a way back into stronger colours (I must have sensed we were heading into a dark period). This began in the (prescient!)  ‘Masque’ series.

Prints from 2017 and 2018 including the ‘Songs of the Earth’ series, Relief Sculptures 2017 (‘Eclogues’, smaller works sent to Japan exhibitions) & Reliefs, Sculptures and Prints 2015-16. The ground is literally becoming my canvas...

The series of ‘Songs of the Earth - Masques’ explores the vision of an underworld of chthonic forces masked behind elaborate metal ‘faces’ composited from metal drain covers I photographed on my recent travels - “Guardians of the Underworld”

Lost Cities” reflects on my past among the architects. In time, the crazier ideas to control your fellow man thankfully slide into oblivion. I revisit some of them - viewed from the perspective of the ubiquitous drain or manhole cover; “Subjective Correlatives” (subverting Eliot’s ‘Objective correlatives’) came from an attempt to simplify the envisioning of the trope about the figurative and the abstract, seen here as more like a swatches of sampled colours.