A new exhibition by London-based Dundalk artist Nigel Cox, which was fuelled by the isolation and loneliness he experienced during Covid-19, will run in Gormleys Fine Art in Belfast from October 3-17.
The Lost: A Series of Artworks – Coloured Through the Prism of the Pandemic, came from a place of “huge emotional swings, uncertainty and an impending sense of loss” according to Cox.
The Dundalk man, who grew up on the Carrick Road in town until he was 16-years-old and then the family moved to the Blackrock Road where he lived until he went to college at the age of 18 in 1977, has had recent group and solo exhibitions in Ireland, London, Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong, Mykonos, Italy, Germany and Austria.
His work has many strong influences, from the Dutch Masters to the Surrealists, the landscapes of the 1979 Transglobe Expedition to modern culture, with an appreciation for a refined technique that invokes the past but with a contemporary edge.
After he found the early days of the lockdown challenging, emotional and stressful, he was prompted to create the seven pieces that will appear in The Lost exhibition.
“Solitude and isolation are two very different states that have fascinated me for many years. I have always loved solitude and I am extremely comfortable being on my own in the studio for months on end,” said Cox.
“But lockdown and our predicament put a different spin on things and for the first time in my life I felt isolated and somewhat lost.”
When the pandemic first hit, Cox found himself confined to his house in the UK and he began to sketch to put his mind at ease amidst all the worry.
They were simple drawings based around life under the virus and gradually these works began to develop into ideas for paintings.
The new work was born from a different emotional response to painting than that which he is used to.
“My oil paintings are normally painted from a place of calm confidence. It is almost a meditative process for me and one I certainly lose myself in for hours and days on end.
“These new pieces were coming from a very different place – huge emotional swings, uncertainty and an impending sense of loss, all coloured through the prism of the pandemic.”
Nigel says he used to return to Dundalk for summer holidays during college and over the years since, but hasn’t lived in Dundalk permanently since.
The Lost is an exhibition of seven new paintings by Nigel Cox and will be shown at Gormleys Fine Art, Belfast, from October 3-17.
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