Skip links

Andrew Conway-Hyde

Isle of Wight Artist & Photographer

Andrew Conway-Hyde channels a minimal approach to painting and photography through an expansive yet controlled use of colour, brush and medium. Working in pigment, acrylic, and oil paint, Conway-Hyde interrogates the fundamentals of painting and photography, veering from epic and luscious compositions of waveforms (such as Summer, 2017) to pared-down and muted abstractions in precisely blended tones and colour. Structured according to the harmonic relationships between these hues (included in the titles, such as The Big Wave, 2021), the paintings manifest as parallel and stacked strata, their wave exploring suggestions of seascapes and atmosphere through the viscosity of oil or acrylic. Albeit with the occasional intervention of chance, moments of happenstance through movement and the unexpected whorl of chaos, this process of repeated, sweeping gestures has been honed over the years since Conway-Hyde research in the Ashmolean at Oxford in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These early works saw Conway-Hyde stripes created by staking colours taken from his sunrise photography and later through the influence of the tide and sea, these became wave lines or mosaic patterns.

For Andrew Conway-Hyde, colour is both the subject and the medium. In his work, he investigates the colours of nature, its contrast and reflective presence and its transformational nature. In early works, Conway-Hyde’s stripes were painted evenly across the surface, seeking to balance pigment and visual harmony. The word “Blue” (2001), bridges these early attempts to colour research the artist’s move towards atmospheric impressionist painting, 

Experimenting with different approaches to performance and gesture, Conway-Hyde finished surfaces entangle the relationship between painting, contrast and reflection.

In Andrew Conway-Hyde’s paintings paint is both the material and the motif. In his first exhibition in Oxford since 2001, the artist’s monochromatic oil works explore their own materiality, colour presence and transmutative nature. Conway-Hyde begins these paintings with only the essentials – a small selection of colours in similar tones, a few brushes and a rag. What follows is a somatic process of paint application. Conway-Hyde’s journeys across the surface, waves and dragging layers of paint over the canvas or wooden panel base. The measurements of the panels reflect Conway-Hyde’s reach, as he stretches to the edges and back the colours form the movement of the wave. Conway-Hyde examines the medium and focuses on the visual motion of the painting. The works are a colour index of a fleeting moment of the rising sun viewed from his window.

In 2019 Conway-Hyde presented a series of paintings that engaged waves of colour inspired by the Isle of Wight sunrises. Referencing a journey of colour and monochromatic minimalist photography, the sombre seascape works featured compositions of muted abstractions in hues of reflective light and contrast. Sky, sea and reflection all inform his palette. The effervescent compositions of the wave, controlled chaos are presented in natural vivid colours that mirror the “Light of the Sun and Moon” on the Isle of Wight where Conway-Hyde’s studio is located. Sky, water and landscape all inform his palette.

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.