Exhibition preview: Phil Baird: Simple Complex Drawings, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until September 8 2013
For six years, Phil Baird has been creating a series of dreamlike landscapes combining observations and real life experiences with imagination and visual metaphors. The result is Simple Complex Drawings, a book and exhibition at Pallant House Gallery.
© Phil Baird
The exhibition has been organised by Outside In, an arts agency providing a platform for artists who find it difficult to access the mainstream art world. This may be due to mental health issues, disability, health, social circumstances or because their work does not conform to what is normally considered as art.
Baird is closely connected to Outside In, not least because he is the Outside In: National 2012 Award winner. As well as exhibiting in both their London and National exhibitions, he has also trained as an Outside In: Step Up workshop facilitator to help develop workshops for other non-traditional artists.
The opportunity to have a solo exhibition at Pallant House Gallery was one of the prizes for being chosen as an Outside: In National Award Winner for his piece Cosmic Hat.
The influence of abstract artists and surrealists such as Henri Matisse and Paul Klee is clear, but Baird is firm that he is decisively aligned with his fellow Outside: In artists Carlo Keshishian and Kate Bradbury: “It’s like we understand each other’s language”.
Baird has been producing art for 40 years, having trained at an art school in Halifax. Although it looks fantastical, he describes his work as “a retrospective diary”.
Part real, part imagined, the monochrome inked landscapes create intricate scenes that invite viewers to become engrossed in every tiny detail.
- Open 10am-5pm (8pm Thursday, 11am-5pm Sunday, closed Monday). Admission £3.50-£9 (family ticket £21.50). Follow the gallery on Twitter @PallantGallery. Follow Outside In on Twitter @outsidein_uk. Follow Sarah Jackson on Twitter @SazzyJackson.
© Phil Baird© Phil Baird