Choose an image to view.

View the promotional bill for the event.

Portfolio / Les Plaisirs Durables



‘When to the sessions of sweet silent thoughts I summon up remembrance of things past.’

The idea to make an exhibition to accompany a concert came from Richard Sutcliffe who made a concert to accompany an exhibition of my paintings in St John’s International School in 2005. This exhibition is therefore reciprocal and symmetrical.

There is no attempt to illustrate literally each piece of music or to make transcriptions of individual pieces rather, there is a parallel play on word and image association based on the titles of pieces of music by Marin Marais, which are in themselves a play on word and sound associations. The viewer is therefore invited to join in a game of oblique references, obscure associations and cryptic clues across the languages of sound, image and word.

In my work I am interested in evoking a sense of nostalgia for ephemeral moments, lost or destroyed worlds regained through the act of re-creation and re-construction of broken fragments in a kind of collage. In both the materials and the visual elements I want to evoke the alchemical processes of growth and decay, desire and mutability and suggest the possibility of transformation and transcendence.

My paintings reference the 17th and 18th cen tradition of trompe l’oiel with its illusions of depth in a shallow space using still life objects that include feathers, folded or crumpled paper, engravings, shells and various surface patterns and textures.

This visual game about what is real and what is illusion provokes deeper formal and philosophical questions about the nature of art and life.

In addition to this the objects themselves are clues or symbols that can unlock deeper meanings in the work concerned with time and transience, loss and memory in the tradition of ‘Vanitas’ or ‘Memento Mori’.

I am grateful to be able to show these paintings in and find a correspondence with the warm human geometry of the beautiful and ancient church of St Denis.

Metamorphoses Paintings & Drawings. All work featured in this portfolio is created by and © Alan Mitchell 2009. Website created by Op45.