Vince Tutton

image I began my career drawing the human figure, in particular the coal miners of the Rhondda Valleys of South Wales where I was born and raised. As the coal mines disappeared the landscape of the valleys became my subject matter. They seemed to act as a metaphor for my life through which I could articulate my experiences, relationships and memories. This close association with the landscape was to remain the same over the years, wherever my family and I were to live and it still forms the basis for my present work.

As the recipient of an Italian Government Scholorship my family and I visited Italy for the first time in 1967. This was the first of many visits and the start of a long and fruitful personal and creative association with Tuscany (in particular Firenze and the village of Casole d'Elsa). With the assistance of further bursaries we also spent the winter of 1969-70 and later the summer of 1973 in the hills overlooking Firenze. It was during this period that I became aware of the need to explore alternative ways of expressing myself rather than using just conventional drawing and painting techniques. It is within this exploratory work that one can start to recognise the first signs of a more analytical introspective approach in my response to the use of the landscape and how I was expressing myself.

During the early 1980's I became increasingly concerned that the way my work was developing was still not sufficient for what I was trying to say about not just the landscape itself but life, family and the power of emotion that all these relationships bring. I began to explore possibilities using other media until eventually all my final exhibition pieces were also complimented by collages that were created using combinations of painting and drawing techniques, photo images and writing, that related to the same theme. Gradually, these collages or "Visual Diaries" were to dominate my work, as did the search to find a more satisfactory way to try to combine both forms of expression. Furthermore, whatever format this expression took I have always kept a book/journal, the contents of which (written and visual) related to the drawings, paintings and collages. A way of expressing my thoughts and feelings that was to manifest itself more than a decade later with the series of abstract works that emerged during our visits to the farmhouse Corbino in the valley below Casole d'Elsa. It was here that the formal landscape elements within my work were to disappear as I came to realise that they were not really necessary any more for what I was trying to express. Since then, my work has continued to develop and gradually the initial confusion regarding its growing abstraction was to clarify itself in my later work through the Story Book, Window and Chapter Series.

Predannack studio: recent work in progress
A Winter of Chapters 60-61, November 2007-March 2008

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