Michael Gutteridge was born in Manchester, grew up in Manchester, and now lives in Manchester, pretty much, therefore, living the legend as appeared on the famous ‘identity’ T-shirts of the Madchester era. Although he has painted all his life, he only began to take it up more seriously in 2001, when, after submitting a painting in the 2000 Open Exhibition at Stockport Art Gallery, he was invited by them to present a full exhibition of some 20 paintings the following year. Since then, he has continued to develop and explore his own unique vision which involves trying to capture some of the excitement and other emotions evoked by the architecturally eclectic, peculiarly vibrant city he lives in. As he says:
“‘Whenever I walk around Manchester I get so excited by many of the buildings, streets and skylines I see, that I at least want to photograph them, but more specifically crave to capture some of that emotionally stimulating impression in paint where I can represent more of it and less of the physical actuality the camera records. As a part of this process I put any reproduced scene through interesting forms of derangement expressed via colour, brushwork, proportionality, shapes, perspective, innate harmonious relationships, energy, and an eclectic juxtaposition of styles. Basically, everything short of throwing in the kitchen sink! Sometimes, I am specifically trying to convey existentially disorientating feelings through these techniques and other times just a general sensual vibrancy.”
As well as an organisation of colour, shapes, angles, proportion, and techniques, he is interested in an elusive quality he calls ‘nervous energy’, which he believes can be conveyed by any given artist through brushwork in much the same way as everybody’s handwriting is unique to themselves and expresses something of their own personality and emotional state whilst writing it. More recently, he has developed his ideas into a whole new area where the techniques themselves assume centre stage.
“‘I am now preocupied with the act of painting in its own right and therefore am not so much painting whatever scene I see, but more painting an actual painting of that scene, as though the art work itself and not the subject matter, were the crucial thing. Thus, visible brushwork may not necessarily be an attempt to paint any given thing, but may be an attempt to draw attention to brushwork and references to the art of painting itself.”
As well as being inspired by the City of Manchester itself, his other influences include LS Lowry, Chaim Soutine, Carel Weight, Edvard Munch, and even Walt Disney. A selection of Michael Gutteridge’s work, including some of that which was exhibited at Stockport Art Gallery in 2001-2, can be viewed at the painter’s online gallery at www.michaelgutteridge.com.
If you are, or know of any local artists (painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, etc) located or based in and around Manchester please let us know, and if appropriate, we’ll try to include them. Contact us directly by email.