As a child I often visited art galleries in London with my mother. I made long train journeys to see as many paintings as I could in one day, and by the age of ten I had sketchbooks full of drawings and paintings. I remember seeing paintings by Howard Hodgkin, John Hoyland and David Hockney-specifically David Hockney’s ‘Love’ Paintings and his painting ‘We Two Boys Together Clinging’. I knew at that point that I wanted to explore paint and painting.
I’m very influenced by memories of my childhood, especially the area in which I grew up – Kingston Upon Hull. This area along with my memories and emotions continually appear in my paintings.
I studied Fine Art in Liverpool and then did a PGCE in Art and Design (Further Ed). Strangely I’ve never taught art – I taught students with learning difficulties and disabilities – an extremely rewarding and enjoyable job.
My work has always been (even from that very young age) heavily influenced by memory/experience/person/place and I continually revisit and rework these themes.
My work is semi autobiographical and very self reflective, drawing on existence itself to inform my visual language and express largely emotional responses through the use of vaguely representational elements and motifs.
My paintings don’t have meanings as such, although I hope that they communicate something that can’t be expressed easily by applying words. I’m not quite sure what, but that’s why I keep painting.
I primarily use acrylic and emulsion for the immediacy of the medium, but I also like to use oil paint as a contrast. I like to work on many different paintings at the same time.
I’ll have a starting point, a sketch or an idea that is loosely built around the elements, shapes and motifs, but then my thoughts, emotions and feelings will influence the direction of the painting, as will the tension or harmony and struggle of the motifs and then also of course the ‘isness’ of the paint itself. All of these things make the painting.
Life is material for my work and I paint to remind myself. Hopefully the result will be something that people will connect with. Some more than others and some more strongly than others.
Another primary theme/concern for me is exploring the ‘Isness’ and ‘Whyness’ of painting and paintings, and I’m trying to make sense of and explore the act of painting itself and what a painting is. The search for meaning is very much part of the creative process for me.
1998 – 1999 PGCE Further Ed
(Art & Design)
1995 – 1998 BA (Hons) Fine Art
Solo – 2019 ‘Christopher Tansey – Paintings’ Bridlington Contemporary Art Gallery, UK
Group – 2019 PS Mirabel ‘PAINT’ Exhibition, Manchester, UK