Growing up in the working-class suburbs of Greater Manchester, Wightman took inspiration from his immediate surroundings, transforming the wallpapered walls of his childhood home into the mountains and ravines of his imagined scenes. His work combines formal artistic influences with the fantasy art he saw throughout his youth in the 1980s. Wightman moved to London to study Fine Art at Middlesex University and went on to achieve a Masters in Painting from the prestigious Royal College of Art, London at the age of 23.
Each painting begins with a ‘cartoon’ – the artist’s term for his delicate line-drawing studies – before painstakingly collaging the canvas surface with hundreds of hand-cut pieces of textured wallpaper to build his landscape. Once a composition is fully collaged through a meticulous and time-consuming process, Wightman paints its surface - masterfully combining a distinctive colour palette with rich texture.
Untethered from views found in our real world and free from geographical constraints, Wightman’s landscapes present an imaginary space rich in both colour and texture where abstraction and reality contest and converge. The once familiar swirls of living-room wallpaper patterns are re-contextualised as the crevices of mountains; bumpy spirals become ravines and glaciers set against lakes and skies of impossibly vibrant colour. It is through each of Wightman’s vistas that we are offered a glimpse into another world – one that is seemingly real and yet entirely fictional.
The Sybarite are working alongside Grove Square Galleries; a new London art gallery offering emerging and established collectors an avenue for exploration and discovery. Merging digital innovation and physical exhibitions, the gallery’s Fitzrovia space offers a year-round programme of dynamic talks and events which run in tandem with an artist-led exhibition programme celebrating contemporary art practice worldwide.
Ariadne V, 2022
Acrylic and Collaged Wallpaper on Canvas
90 x 120cm