Neil Canning is fast becoming one of the region’s most innovative and sought after Semi-Abstract painters. Always allowing for progression within his work, his forthcoming exhibition – entitled Luminosa – demonstrates this evolution of technique, in a brand new body of work whose sources of inspiration stretch from east to west.
After my first visit to Hong Kong it soon became apparent that cityscapes would be an important addition to my subject matter. For the first time, man made forms provided me with a new and exciting star ting point. I began to experiment with new colour combinations and forms. As the work progressed it was primarily the changing effects of light that really fascinated me.
In this exhibition my focus has now moved on to New York and these pieces have a slightly different feel. The streets are often seen at night and there is a much stronger suggestion of traffic. Car headlights and tail lights reflected by wet road surfaces. The hectic energy at street level contrasts with high reaching skyscrapers. Their luminous glow is accentuated by the deep night sky.
In contrast the new paintings of land and sea are about wide horizons, high skies energized by scattered clouds. Here too, light is the primary element guiding abstraction. Cliff forms disappear in half shadow held in position by the strong raking sunlight, which defines their upper edges. There is a feeling of the land almost floating, suspended in mid air. This is partly influenced by some of the eastern art I have recently been studying.
In many respects the subject matter is now more recognisable than in some of my previous work. For me the degree of abstraction is not important, my approach is exactly the same. All I am actually offering the viewer is a star ting point, beyond that the subject dissolves into layers of paint. It is that balance which I find exciting and is the element that constantly pushes my work forward.