Spirituality in geometry
An English artist with deep ties to India is showcasing his art in a collection of abstract paintings to be exhibited in London
Marcus Hodge, a classically trained contemporary English artist with family connections to India dating back several generations, pays artistic homage to spiritual themes in India’s culture, history and people. In a departure from the figurative art of his past, his new direction focuses on the abstract, with images that aim to deliver decorative power and impact through energetic and passionate abstract, using the thick and glossy medium of oil paint, applied in a sculptural style.
His message is universal: good karma.
Marcus’s work depicts India’s famous fairs and religious festivals. Through his abstracts, he is searching for a deeper truth, inspired by the spiritual life of India.
His forthcoming July exhibition in London will include a collection of some thirty bold, layered abstracts in oil on canvas.
Marcus has subtly introduced Indian symbols into his abstracts, which may help to better convey their meaning. While these are concepts familiar to Indian people of faith, they are largely unknown in the West.
Abstract artists often hesitate to describe their work, preferring simply to evoke a feeling or atmosphere. Yet Marcus tells a story in his geometric compositions and, in his own words, describes his creative process:
‘The abstract paintings are made and unmade, scraped back and repainted many times. This initial scaffold is woven into the final picture, incorporating the passage of time. Tidying up is resisted, and imperfection is welcomed in order to retain the uniqueness of each painting.
Richard Gregson is a freelance journalist currently based in Canada
‘Brushes are often abandoned in favour of objects such as large spatulas, lengths of wood and plasterers’ tools, introducing the elements of risk, chance and opportunity. The application of paint is generous, urgent and immediate –the surface is active and brimming with texture, allowing the material to find its own space and form.
‘The work is searching for a language that is open and universal, with the emotion and memory of lived experiences.
‘With a restrained economy of means, these leaner paintings are not so much about the finish as about process – a process of not knowing, which may reveal something new in the making.’