South London born artist Conrad Armstrong visited us at Lights of Soho gallery. He contemplates and explores our relationship with trees and nature from the perspective of a mind shaped by the industrial and synthetic metropolis of London – a city where spirituality and respect for nature are commonly disparaged and disregarded.
Normally we have an artist and a chair at Bright Lights talk show but this time we had just an artist speech. It was impressive talk about art, Conrad’s education and self-development. We were listening to his poetry, diving into a wonder forest whilst this talented artist spoke.
We were very lucky to have seen a series of intricate ink drawings of trees that have been drawn from life in locations around London, Japan and the Isle of Wight. Through his eyes, trees are not the decorative objects of landscape art, they are wizened giants of nature who wear their histories on their surfaces. They are more like portraits than anything else, where the trees are akin to the archetypal man who gets the face he deserves, and they are all tethered in Armstrong’s mind to the time and place in which he drew them.
Conrad presented to the audience his book ‘Book of shadows’. This is a small edition with Conrad’s drawings, poetry and in general it’s a druid horoscope. Drawn in an artist style with graphic trees, it makes you think about trees shapes, their history. Conrad mentioned that the colour could be complicated to print and what the artist planned to show, can be ruined by scanning or printing pieces of art. Such a smart approach of using black graphic trees makes people think more deeply about these pictures, it’s like Japanese simplicity with deep philosophy.
Outstanding speech and amazing evening Conrad! Bravo!