This is the largest show of work that I’ve put together; there are eighty pieces dating back to the 70s to try to give an indication of how my work has changed over time. The main underlying theme though is the presence of politics in my work. A well-meaning friend (who happens to live in London) suggested that I was ‘too big’ for Hartlepool Gallery and I immediately challenged him. An offer to show in a public gallery space is an honour and I have been thinking long and hard about the best way to show something beyond a gallery exhibition of latest work available for sale. As well as some new paintings that have never been shown I have pulled together work from family, friends and collectors as well as rummaging through the studio for pieces from significant shows that I have kept. Unfortunately, due to a studio fire in 2007, the older work is a little sparse on the ground – but I hope the show gives some idea of how I got to where I am now. Previous visits to the North East have always been related to my old trade union activities so it will be great to visit again with my art.
A side benefit… A show of work that looks back over your career can be formally called a ‘retrospective’. If it’s mounted when you’re 51 it could be called ‘mid-career’ (just!). Which means I should have another thirty odd years doing this mad job. Excellent!
GUY DENNING – The Politics of Painting
Hartlepool Art Gallery, 21st January – 18th March 2017