Friday, 20 January 2012

new year, new work by ian jarman...

'Snow in Manchester' by Ian Jarman

I've worked with Ian Jarman since the gallery opened in 2007. In fact, his large monoprint of Deansgate in Manchester was the first picture i ever sold. But that's not why I have a deep affection for his work: it's because of the skill he brings to every picture, recreating a scene with such sensitivity and making even the most grotty cityscape come to life with light and humanity.

Each line of parked cars, each skyscraper, each gable end is reproduced with such a clear interpretation. I love the way Ian brings such tenderness to the ugliest of scenes. I think this artist could make any gutter beautiful, any skip seem lovely. But he doesn't forget to make his pictures real. As someone who lived in Manchester for many years (my children were both born in St Mary's on Oxford Road, near the University) I have a real soft spot for the city and Ian Jarman shows me the Manchester I carry around in my head: the hidden corners and tucked-away places that reveal the city to us; the fire escapes that climb the backs of buildings behind Picadilly Station, the scrubland car parks round the back of the Arndale, the alleys around and about the Northern Quarter.

'Snow, Roman Fort, Castelfield' by Ian Jarman.

His affection for the city is there in every picture, and it's that quality that makes me smile whenever he shows me something new.