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ABOVE Wall Fragment 1961 mixed media on south Downs chalk 41 x 41cm
  • LEFT Talisman wall fragment 2 mixed media on South Downs chalk 15 x 15 x 5cm
  • MIDDLE Open Book framed card 16 x 16cm
  • RIGHT Talisman wall fragment 1 mixed media on South Downs chalk 15 x 15x5cm
  • LEFT Going up to Heaven mixed media on South Downs chalk 31 x 31cm
  • MIDDLE Wall Fragment framed card 16 x 16cm
  • RIGHT Talisman wall fragment 3 mixed media on South Downs chalk 15 x 15 x 5cm
  • LEFT Eve mixed media on plaster 51 x 51cm
  • MIDDLE Darkness into Light mixed media on plaster 51 x 51cm
  • RIGHT Time Was mixed media on plaster 61 x 61cm

Michèle Griffiths

Artist’s Statement September 2017 “Gold in the Mud”

When you first look at a stranger, you tend to see only their main features. So it is with my work: the initial response will be to the colour, composition and texture. But look more closely, “get to know” the particular piece, and you will see countless marks and ciphers scored into the surface. As with experiences that shape a life, these range from random to deliberate: the half obliterated, discarded and as it were ‘forgotten’, to the more obvious and indelible, which areretained and ‘remembered’.

There are initials and dates, as written by people on walls throughout the ages. I have been recording old graffiti in different countries for many years, moved and inspired by the way they provide such a personal connection with the hand of whoever made them and such a direct link with the past. The 18th century equivalents of “I was here” can be seen in our village church. There are also crosses inscribed on a pillar, thought to have been made by Crusaders.

My ways of working with what I call “Wall Fragments” are constantly evolving, most recently incorporating chalk in the ground which makes it easier to inscribe than plaster on its own. I collect lumps of chalk from the South Downs nearby and grind them to a powder with a mortar and pestle.

The “Wall” concept first came from looking at ancient walls in old Greek villages which are annually whitewashed but still bear the imprints of the passing years. This has become for me an apt and meaningful metaphor for the way life marks, and sometimes scars, us. We continually remember and forget but some things never go away. I use my artistic experience and intuition to tease out the right composition and create a unique beauty from what I see before me, however rough, misshapen and unpromising it may at first appear. To quote Baudelaire; “I seek gold in the mud”.

MG September 2017

Art Education:

Wimbledon School of Art and Design : 1992-5 BA Hons Fine Art, Painting Putney School of Art : 1991-2 Distinction 

Girton College Cambridge Joint Honours Degree in Modern and Medieval Languages. Post Graduate studies at Chelsea College: Diploma in Modern Social and Cultural Studies. A year teaching ESL in Italy then French and German language and literature in London Secondary Schools until 1992, whilst attending regular Life Drawing classes.

1995 to present : full time painting and regular exhibitions.
For full list of past exhibitions please visit www.michelegriffiths.com

Recent solo shows

The Stour Gallery 2016 (featured artist) 2012, 2010, 2007(with John Maltby), 2005, Nicholas Bowlby Fine Art, London

Group shows and National and International Art Fairs, including recently:

2017 Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition : both paintings entered selected.
The Discerning Eye : 4 paintings selected in 2015
Major Commission for P&O: 12 large paintings for the top deck of the cruise-liner Britannia, launched March 2015

Affordable Art Fairs: Battersea and Hampstead, London also...

Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 1997, The Discerning Eye 2003, 2009, 2015, Art Brussels, Turin Art Fair, Morley Gallery, Woodlands Art Gallery, 20/21 International Art Fair, Art London, National Gallery of Mongolia, Affordable Art Fairs, mainly with Nicholas Bowlby Fine Art, Christie’s Art for Life, Vertigo, Chambers Gallery City of London, Hicks Gallery, SW1 Gallery, The Gallery on Cork Street.Works, including many commissions, held in private collections throughout the UK and in France, Italy, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. Also at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, London.

2016 £1000 raised for Save the Children in 2 weeks, from an online sale of older work. 









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