10 September 2023

Sifting Through Stones

Adam Laurence Hedley’s abstract paintings
encourage multiple readings of subject and space


by Kate Mothes

Navigating amorphous spaces between nature, abstraction, and figuration, Bristol-based artist Adam Laurence Hedley‘s ethereal paintings evoke layers of time and history. “Emerging through a fairly fluid methodology concerned with the material of paint and surface, I’ve been aiming to reach an image that feels arbitrary but resolved, and that dynamically shifts between abstract and figurative states offering multiple readings,” he says.

Hedley draws on perceptions of light, depth, space, and surface to arrange compositions that resist precise categorization. In some, the outlines of botanicals appear to emerge, while in others, an overall sense of blurriness or distortion—like that of water rippling over pebbles—allows for myriad interpretations. He alternates layers of diluted paint with dry-brushed paint, which he often uses once it has been sitting on the palette for several hours. “It suits a slow, methodical approach where images reveal, cross over, and conceal each other, eventually becoming a palimpsest of fragmented forms, spaces, history, and process,” he says.

A fascination with observations of the natural world and the patinas of time find their way into the works—”anything from historical artefacts and ancient sites to maps, lichen, roots, manuscripts, woodlands, streets, and anything in between.” See more of Hedley’s work on his website and Instagram.

Springan, 2023. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 centimeters
Sifting Through Stones, 2022. Oil on canvas, 26 x 30 centimeters
Lower Chamber, 2022. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 centimeters
In Border Haunts, 2023. Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 centimeters
Flat Country, 2022. Oil on canvas, 26 x 30 centimeters
Sifting Through Stones, installed on a Giles Round backdrop. Photo by Dom Moore
Gentle Spirit, 2023. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 centimeters

Images © Adam Laurence Hedley, courtesy of the artist

Header image: Detail of Magic Shield, 2022. Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 centimeters

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