John Doubleday – Landscapes and Echoes
John Doubleday has had one-man shows with the Hayletts Gallery in Maldon for a good many years. His work is a ‘slow burn’. Not everybody gets it at first but it is interesting. “Difficult, pedantic and engaging” is how his work has been described; this may not sound encouraging but it was the response of an owner who declined to loan a work for exhibition – because they didn’t want to be parted from it as it had become an important and familiar presence in their life.
He has a considerable career behind him of public works commissioned by governments and institutions. Many will be familiar with Charlie Chaplin in Leicester Square, Brunel at Paddington Station and Sherlock Holmes in Baker Street. His works can be seen in many countries round the world. Now, at a later stage in his career, he is concentrating on the more personal vision of work produced for exhibitions such as this forthcoming show at the Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend.
There is always more to Doubleday’s work than might at first be apparent. This exhibition is about landscapes and the other realities that can be perceived in them. He has a strong affinity with the landscape of Essex, the county in which he was born, grew up and in which he has lived for most of his life.
The paintings and relief bronzes in this exhibition explore the sensation of being somewhere rather than representing a particular place. The work has echoes of idiosyncratic dreams, visions and stories that we create for ourselves. We carry ghosts with us which inform our perception. It is the echoes of these ghosts which colour the work in the exhibition.
For those not familiar with the work of John Doubleday, this exhibition is likely to provide unexpected glimpses into the familiar.
Hayletts Gallery 2018