Born in London in 1970, Cornelius Wright grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina until returning to London in 1978. His works are focused on the natural world, inspired by the British Romantic Movement, travel, documenting, and capturing the essence and spirit of the landscape. His painted works tackle the perception and tension between the surface and image of a painting, depth and surface, and begs the viewer to question how they are looking at the painting; as a physical object or a window. There are also parallels to what we perceive as what is apparent and what is presumed, what we know to be the truth or real and what lies beneath the surface of apparent truth.
“My paintings blend a scientific study of paint on canvas and the organic properties it can achieve by mixing, pouring and manipulating paint to represent a sublime notion of my subject.
The process of creating is at the base of the work, guiding and manipulating the flow of liquids and paint, mimicking nature, organic growth. There is an element of accident and chance in the work but with the artist’s hand as a guide. The challenge is to organise and mirror nature through paint and composition in a coherent and aesthetic way.
I have also been thinking about my attraction to be near empty open spaces, especially moving back to the city again, I find my self longing for open expanses of sky and land and feelings of escapism The processes I employ with paint try to capture the organic and spontaneous nature of the landscape. I have been thinking a lot about my transition from living in the French Alps to moving to Scotland and the routes, mountain passes, Cols and Bealach between. The idea of the mountain pass, a route symbolising the passing over a hurdle from one side to another, symbolising passing from one place to another, a journey, my displacement, others displacement, forced displacement of people, changes in perception to foreigners and closing of borders. Understanding landscape in our time and how it has changed both by movement in historical activity and how it is changing by human impact, climate and Geomorphology. How the environment has morphed and adapted to the impact of change and progress. How do we perceive the natural world as a spectator?
I have also been thinking about my attraction to be near empty open spaces, especially moving back to the city again, I find my self longing for open expanses of sky and land and feelings of escapism”.
Cornelius studied a 1-year Art Foundation course at Middlesex University from ’89-90, then graduated with a BA(Hons) from Goldsmiths University in 1993. Following his studies, he worked in various studios, holding solo shows and led a peripatetic life in England and abroad selling his work to individual clients. In 2000 he moved to Chamonix, France to further concentrate on his art. He now lives in Scotland with his family and completed his Masters in Painting at Glasgow School of Art in (2018).