Gareth Lloyd: Leaving the 20th Century

by Jeremy Reed

FEIN Collections is thrilled to present Jeremy Reed's essay on Gareth Lloyd.

I tend to think of time as discontinuous whenever we enter into the individual space occupied by an artist's vision. It's inside this mental precinct that we discover the artist's ability to convert his findings into a more durable pattern of universal associations.

When Blake wrote, "Eternity is in love with the productions of time", he was pointing to the insights available to those who work in the given moment with the awareness of its magnitude.

In his art, Gareth Lloyd has confronted the issues that continue to preoccupy his discourse with the world. The modern crisis of the ruin of language via commodification and media exploitation is one tension point on which his work pivots, falling out of language we become dependent on the visual signs rooted in the mytho-poetic. The artist's work becomes that of the compensatory retrieval of the icon as it appears in his particular time. Here we have traces of figures as they resonate in the artist's psyche: Ned Kelly crossing the Red Sea, private detectives who may have jumped out of a pulp novel and the idea of the angel or psychopomp as the necessary and luminous instructor to spiritual progress. In each case the icon is re-visioned through erasure as a pointer sign-posting the way in a progressively de-individualised ethos.

For all its post-modern complexity, the artist seems preoccupied with the re-sanctification of the mediated individual as creator. I mean this in the way that art, if it is to have durability, should always represent an uncompromising challenge to any ideology intent on suppressing forms of dissent. The trend of the late 20th century has been increasingly directed towards information at the expense of vision: data as a substitute for the tentative.

The serene texture of Gareth Lloyd's paintings, conceal the radical dissent of an artist who refuses to conform to the new media hegemony.

Drawing inspiration from the cinema, his prodigious reading, the connecting points between mythic and representational reality and the seething nucleus of West End energies in which he lives, he is an artist working in his time with an alertness to creating configurative patterns from emerging contemporary myths. His art is a solitary one sustained by inner conviction and the overriding belief that truth is best realised through an inwardly achieved creative expression.

Facing the new century we're all disinherited from a sense of the poetic. With real time increasingly invaded by its counterpart, it's important not to lose sight of inner time and space with its unending potential for imaginative discovery.

The artist needs that space and time, and Gareth Lloyd's paintings will help familiarise you with its inner topology, a map leading to the long trajectory of the cosmos.

Author Bio: Jeremy Reed - poet, writer and art critic

Jeremy Reed, a Jersey-born poet, novelist, and literary critic, has produced over 50 works in 25 years, including poetry, novels, and literary criticism -translated into over a dozen languages.

Gareth encountered Jeremy Reed at a poetry conference hosted by the University of London, sparking a connection that fuelled Gareth's appreciation for Jeremy's prolific writing. Awards from Somerset Maugham, Eric Gregory and Ingram Merrill foundations, together with the Arts Council England testify to Reed's global influence, crowned by the Poetry Society's European Translation Prize. Both artists share a love of the French luminaries Rimbaud and Artaud. Reed's novels, such as: "The Grid," and his insightful art criticism: “Gareth Lloyd Leaving the 20th Century,” reflect the expansiveness and depth of his creative genius.

Wikipedia entry:

To view the other essays about Gareth Lloyd’s work by Shahidha Bari, Paul Ryan and María Esther Maciel please visit our News section, or Gareth's website.