The Rapefield
By Andrew Cranston

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Year
1993
Media
Acrylic and Gouache
Subject Matter
Landscape
Reg. Number
P385
Size
64 x 61 cm

The yellow linseed oil rape fields of Stonehaven and The Borders hold a fascination for Andrew. He contrasts the alien nature of the yellow fields with the iconic dullness of the British countryside. The injection of maroon and other bold tones into the scene create a sense of texture. Overall, 'The Rapefield' portrays the important themes of birth and family which are at the core of Andrew's artistic values.

Andrew places a great importance on his birthplace in his work. Growing up in the Scottish Borders, he writes: "I was blessed or cursed with having lived nearly all my life on the edge of a small mill-town." The gravestone outlines at the base of 'The Rapefield' are based on Wellogate cemetery in Hawick, the site of his family plot. Despite this obvious re-invention of a familiar scene, Andrew notes that he liked to imagine it from his mind rather than copy what was already there.

Andrew stresses that whilst the often romanticised, Scottish landscape is an important element in his work, he is not willing to view it simply as a pastoral idyll. "Walk in the woods there and you will find dumped cars, old washing machines, dirty socks, TVs and dubious skull and cross boned containers." Formally, his work tends to place action and detail around the edge of the painting, creating a centrifugal motion and a certain flatness over a large central focussed image.

The artist's early work was bolstered by several travelling scholarships, first to Florence in 1993 and Vienna in 1995. During this time Andrew was exposed to the historic Sienese Quattrocento artists, particularly Sassetta, whose pictorial techniques of tilting the picture-plane to flatten the space yet retain a passage of deep perspective are shown in layout of 'The Rapefield'.

Andrew Cranston was born in Hawick in 1969. After completing an Art Foundation course at Manchester Polytechnic, he graduated in 1993 with a BA in Fine Art from Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen and in 1996 an MA in Painting from The Royal College of Art in London.

His work has been the subject of many solo and group exhibitions from Berlin to Banff. Of particular international acclaim, he has been recognised at the Hamish Morrison Galerie of Berlin, in a collaboration of 'Poster Show' at Gavin Brown's Enterprise in New York and 'Interieur' at the Ute Parduhn Gallery in Dusseldorf.
Closer to home, Andrew's has had exhibitions throughout Britain in the last two decades at the Long and Ryle Art International and Barbican Centre in London, the Royal Scottish Academy, Talbot Rice Gallery and Edinburgh College of, as well as the Glasgow Project Room. Andrew currently lectures in Painting at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen.

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