Friday 2 October 2020
Art Unlocked Q&A with Leigh Warnick
Art Unlocked 02-04 – A response to the unfurling of Covid-19 by the Artists, Designers and Makers of Richmond Art House Open Studios.
Below, we asked Art Unlocked artist Leigh Warnick, a few questions about his work and the impact of Covid-19 on his artistic practice.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art practice
I have spent most of my life working with both artists and architects, but I only took up painting a few years ago, having been persuaded by my artist friends. Photography has been with me all my life, and although I do not consider myself a professional, nevertheless my architectural and art photographs have been used in several publications.
How does your piece in the Art Unlocked exhibition relate to Covid-19?
Whilst in lockdown I was reading a lot about Vermeer, and particularly the academic research into whether or not he used a camera obscura to obtain the photographic perspective noted in his work. It occurred to me that I was actually working in a space similar to Vermeer’s frequent theme of a room strongly lit by one window, and showing a scene with a narrative consistent with the time of the painting. Setting my camera up, and under-exposing to replicate Vermeers strong contrast between light and shade, I took some shots of myself exactly as I was at the time with the scene I was living with and my constant obsession with the latest news as to how the Covid-19 situation was developing throughout the world.
How did lockdown impact your artistic practice?
Normally, I work 6 days a week in my gallery and picture framers in Hampton Hill, so lockdown actually gave me the opportunity to spend more time painting and photographing. I found that my adjacent Bushy Park was too busy for my comfort, so took to exercising and cycling in Home Park which was often virtually empty. As a result, I discovered the rear view of Hampton Court Palace which became the largest of the paintings that I made during lockdown.