Syllavethy Gallery

Angus Abbot

"Cold" Ink on Paper . Angus Abbot

I have been obsessed by the human face for as long as I can remember. To me, people’s faces are like the book of their lives; a story in lines, cracks and creases, an entire face is the completed manuscript, leather bound and all.

My faces appear from making marks on paper. They are like stains on a tablecloth, or clouds, slowly revealing an image which I can then run with. The moment of recognition, for me, is the excitement of stumbling across a face which can take me back twenty years to the top deck of a bus, with all the relative memories surrounding that face. Or it may turn out a face I saw last week. Sometimes I can’t tell who the person is, however I can tell you all about that person.

The emotional content is at two levels; what the face tells me about that person, based on thirty years of studying them and my own ‘memory keys’, which open my own personal memories at that time, in that place. The response I’m looking for in other people is, I hope, one of recognition. Not simply of someone they might know but also the story behind the face.

I am also a performance poet and I have found that many of the issues I address in my poems are reflected in my paintings. From the war in Iraq to growing up in Glasgow, from spending time in prison to a recent heart-attack, is all grist to the mill. For me, the human face can and does give expression to my feelings about these issues.

I hope to move onto a larger scale in future and expand my use of materials and media in an attempt to create a more powerful image.