17th - 21st April 2016 Passing Places: an exhibition of paintings by William Lindsay. Image courtesy of Ian Dodds.
William Lindsay’s paintings showing here are his responses to what happens in the process of painting when, on the canvas, board or paper, some mark or marks attracts his interest though he is not certain why. His goal is to hold on to the uncertainty and insecurity, leaving it undefined. It is the momentary view caught out of the corner of the eye while looking somewhere else that matters. These paintings are brief glimpses of relationships among forms, as if seen from a passing place where having stopped - and watching the distant horizon for someone coming in our direction - we see things we do not have the time or will to define. And we set off again with ambivalent visual records that are only accurate when left like that, ambiguous and unsettled. The forms Lindsay uses in his paintings are not particularly important – ovals, rounded rectangles, vessels, lines, boat shapes, possibly clouds. They appear as the paint is stroked, drawn, spread, washed; they are archetypes used to make a painting. Relationships are created among these forms and with the borders of the painting. They are intended to be unsure and ephemeral, important but precarious. We think of returning to clarify, to make our momentary perceptions more concrete, but often do not. Halted temporarily, the experience, and vision, moves on. All that we really take away is the uncertain view from the passing place.
Before returning to Scotland in 2012 to study painting at Leith School of Art, William Lindsay’s work was predominantly figurative. In recent years it has become more expressive and responsive to unforeseen events in the painting process. His starting point is often the emotive visual impact of a physical object which, if it remains at all, becomes typically an archetypal form used to carry something of the initial sensation. William Lindsay has had a successful career in palaeontology, preservation, research and education in London and southeast England. After studying geology at Glasgow University he worked at The Natural History Museum in London excavating and reconstructing fossils as well as managing care of the collections. He went on to deliver postgraduate conservation education at the Royal College of Art as the Head of the RCA/Victoria and Albert Museum Conservation Department. Following this he moved to the National Archives, Kew, to join an international team researching change in archival collections.