About My Work

My work has been described as; menacing and mischievous, serenely melancholic, sexual, dark and sinister, but playful and humorous.

I am currently focussing on developing my ideas through drawing and my chosen medium is mainly oil pastel and pencil on paper. I have become very sensitive to the limitations of these materials and my unique style has developed over many years. My technique is both aggressive and delicate in execution. The multi-layering of oil pastel and pencil also creates depth and attempts to emulate the marks and surfaces achieved in materials like paint, clay and plaster I was working with some years ago.

When three dimensions become two, references to scale often become ambiguous. For example, does that simplified depiction of a tower-like, toy-like structure, suggest a small scale? What about the viewing angle? How do the backgrounds, often resembling landscapes, play against this and suggest otherwise? What role do the shadows play? A background might become a backdrop when objects cast vertical shadows upon it. The images might suddenly seem more like dioramas, scenes waiting for further content or long forgotten stage sets. Narrative is, essentially and deliberately, misleading and meaning is embedded as much in the objects and scenes as in the execution of the work.

In ‘The Bathers’, for example, the title alone suggests other than what is visible – the bathers! Each possibility of their whereabouts creates new narrative;

  • they are yet to arrive
  • they have been and gone
  • they are under the water
  • they are hiding

The water, if it is water, is calm, so if the bathers are submerged then the darkness of the pool invites sinister interpretation, quite the opposite to a more playful ‘hiding’ scenario.

Water is a regular feature in my work. Like humans it is:

  • both cleanser and poisoner
  • protector and destroyer
  • life sustainer and disease distributor

The water/pools of fluid are depicted dark and menacing and are reflect a genuine fear of swimming in water I cannot see through. The scratched, reflective, dark, surfaces, do not reveal the true depths or what may be lurking beneath. It is the unknown.

Stanley Greening 2016