A SERIES of new paintings by Christopher R. Watson has opened at the ZigZag Gallery and has been inspired by the artist’s time living in India.
“For the past few years I have been immersed in the odours, Marsalas, racket, monsoonal downpours and confounding social fabric of Mumbai, India,” Watson said while back in Perth.
“It continues to be both infuriating and utterly delightful, creating a happy bed of nails upon which personal development seems inevitable.
“As both artist and film maker, Mumbai is an excellent match for me, and I’m delighted to be growing my relationship with this extraordinary country.
“Under the leadership of Ravendra Modi, the Indian people seem to be being led into different space to those of America and the UK who voted for Brexit and Trump.
“It’s more informed and more intelligent leadership.
“The ancient cultural depth of humanity in India gives me a rare and thought-provoking insight that encourages my output on canvas and each day drowns me in rabid curiosity.”
The 10 pieces in this exhibition are large-scale, contemporary expressionist paintings which have been painted in a loose acrylic sweeping style and then built upon with layers of oils providing more depth and texture to the image.
Watson favours oppositional colour in his works like the orange under blue to make the dominant colour stronger in his painting Sublimations.
The colours of India have inspired these canvases with an old-fashioned flavour which is both charming and frustrating, he said.
“It is so different from what we know,” he said.
“You have to re-think the simple processes of life.”
Watson said India agreed with him.
Mumbai is not his only studio, he also has a studio in Perth and London and travels between the three cities to produce his art.
He started his career as a sculptor but moved to film direction in London and Los Angeles later and has now returned to painting.
“I found sculpture was challenging at that time and film seemed to be more manageable in terms of time, space and form,” he said.
He still works in film commercials in India.
Watson’s exhibition at ZigZag Gallery is open until January 1.