* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Neil Moore was born in Leicester in 1950. He studied at Loughborough College of Art and Design from 1968-72. He had his first solo exhibition in 1973 before taking up the post as ‘Artist at sea’ with the British merchant navy from 1974- 76. Now a veteran of over twenty solo exhibitions, he has been represented by the Nicholas Treadwell Gallery, London (1977 – 94), East West Gallery, London (1995 – 2009) and Bo-lee Gallery, Bath/London (2009 – 2014).
Neil explains his work by saying, “Unlike most realist painters I don’t see things and want paint them – although I sometimes wish I did, as I suspect it might be easier. My life presents me with emotional and intellectual challenges which can concern, intrigue or amuse me. In an attempt to make sense of these experiences I try and come up with imagery that explores, or expresses, them. The resulting imagery is not illustrative, it is always metaphorical. This is because I am trying by painting an image to “understand”, not to be understood. It is essentially an intuitive process. I generate images that for me express something – I don’t know of what, and I don’t analyze what it might be. It isn’t that I don’t evaluate possibilities (I spend days choosing exactly what will be included in each painting) but the evaluation is made on a purely “like/dislike” basis. Viewers are often misled by the exactitude of the style into thinking I know what I am doing eg. “trying to tell them something”, whereas I am actually trying to find out something. Any resulting ambiguity is then not deliberate but as a result of my ‘not knowing’. The paintings, to use another metaphor, are like a mirror – they reflect something of myself back to me. Their revelations often surprise me. They don’t ever provide answers but, if I successfully encapsulate whatever feelings stimulated them, a separation occurs and I can move on. Apart from the therapeutic effect of “laying” these conceptual ghosts there is also my need to create. If a week goes by when at the end of it I haven’t created some thing, I feel I have squandered a precious opportunity. A long holiday or period of inactivity is frustrating for me – I begin to feel purposeless. My creative process is unquestionably self-centered in that I do it for myself – not to please, or appease, others. Seeking approval is natural, but I believe it ultimately it corrupts art and undermines originality.”