Nathan Ford's work is very atmospheric, with an economy of marks he creates powerful and evocative imagery. His work explores portraiture, landscape and still life, but all with an unmistakeable style.
Ford's work can broadly be divided into 2 categories. Large sweeping street scenes, barren on the margins,set the scene for off-centre hives of activity, their bright flashings resembling the collisions of far-flung stars.
All the remaining paintings are small, and amongst these are portraits of 3 generations of Ford’s immediate family. In addition is a series of still lives, which include vessels unearthed from the formerly abandoned garden behind the artist’s home..
Included here are a number of images from a recently published book, How to Make a Proper Alien. The book was in part prompted by the death of two friends. However the major driver was the terminal sickness of his children’s closest friend, Nathan’s 10 year old nephew Thomas. It is Nathan’s response to the inability to impart suitable or relevant words of comfort to those nearest to him. These paintings are also a way of being, a creative pathway out of the interstices of grief; an act of something from nothing that allows one to be made new, to move forward.
I love the childlike nature of some of the landscape works against some very bleak, sparse and powerful portraits, the images are obviously from the same hand but there is a real distance between the two.