Artist Interview: Geoff Diego Litherland

Geoff’s work explores the tension between the natural world and its grasping appropriation by human influence. It draws from traditional genres of painting together with the rusty surrealism of science fiction and the fantasia of abstraction to create a parallel world that seeks to not only question our perception of and relationship to nature, but paintings’ historical and current role in that.

Antlers showcased Geoff’s work at their recent exhibition ‘Spatial’ and are proud to be exhibiting his work at the Manchester Buy Art Fair which will run from the 26th to the 29th of September.

Geoff Diego Litherland Studio Shot

Geoff Diego Litherland Studio Shot

How did you get involved with Antlers?

I had some work in the Affordable Art Fair and Jack saw it and invited me to be part of this show, having now seen the other artists’ work that are part of Antlers, my work seems to fit right in.

 

Are we seeing new work for the show? Did you respond to the brief ‘Spatial’ or was it a word which Antlers felt applied to your work?  If the latter, how do you feel it fits in with your practice?

‘Together We Resonate’ is a new piece for the show, and the rest are older pieces. Spatial is quite an ambiguous term, there’s a reference to the exhibition space which is not your usual white cube gallery space, but my paintings do tend to address “space”. In the octagonal window paintings, the space relates to the structure of the canvas and the idea that you are looking out into space, in the larger landscape paintings, there are two different spaces that are in a state of awkward stasis.

Geoff Diego Litherland - BecauseTogether We Resonate - Oil on Canvas - 130 x 100cm - £2,600

Geoff Diego Litherland – Because Together We Resonate – Oil on Canvas

Which other painters have influenced you?

Umm this list could be quite long, but at the moment: Hieronymus Bosch, Albert Bierstadt, Peter Doig, Gerhard Richter, Callum Innes, a real mixture really of both figurative and abstract.

 

Do you think that your fascination with other worlds is influenced by your fathers’ work? 

My father was a geologist who worked in South America and Africa and we we’re lucky to be out there with him. I grew up in Ecuador and Bolivia and from an early age could “feel” the difference in places. There were different customs and beliefs and also different ways of reading history. All these things make you realise that at one point people have created these structures, they’re not a given. I suppose what I’m trying to do with my work is to create an alternative set of these parameters.

 

It is interesting to see the evolution of your style over the past five years, how do you feel this has happened? 

My work has always been about my relationship to nature, it’s just that over the last few years I feel that the work is addressing the issue in a more confident and direct manner.

Geoff Diego Litherland - Hello From Everywhere 3D - Giclee Print

Geoff Diego Litherland – Hello From Everywhere 3D – Giclee Print

You took a lot of time between your BA and MA courses, what made you decide to go back to studying?

It was something I always wanted to do and doing it part-time at Goldsmiths was the only way for me to do it,  I am glad that I waited so long though, I think I made the most of it, and the course made me be as ambitious as I could with the work.

 

Would you like to talk a bit about your process when making work?

The paintings start off as digital collages that inform the composition and colour, after that it’s all about the different techniques and processes that I’ve explored over the years coming together.

Geoff Diego Litherland - Space Ship Earth (Window no. 1) - Oil and gesso on linen - 100 x 100cm - £1,200

Geoff Diego Litherland – Space Ship Earth (Window no. 1) – Oil and Gesso on Linen

Where does your interest in science fiction come from?

I’ve got an uncle whose always been into sci-fi and as a kid everytime I visited I would look at the amazing covers and imagine what would be going on. I was about 5 at the time and couldn’t read, but when I was old enough he’d lend them to me and I remember Asimov’s Foundation series leaving a pretty strong impression on me. I also love the slow burning sci-fi films of the 60’s, and am still reading sci-fi, Christopher Priest being one of my current favourites.

 

I have read that you really like the band Television and you have previously entitled a show Gold Soundz, what are you listening to at the moment? 

Yep, I love music! I have hooked a four way surround sound system in my new studio, I listen to a lot of ambient, minimal electronica type stuff, all quite neutral and meditative, as it’s Thursday today I’ll probably listen to Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon, later on.

Geoff Diego Litherland - Hold Me Still While Everything Spins - Oil on Canvas - 140 x 100cm - £2,200

Geoff Diego Litherland – Hold Me Still While Everything Spins – Oil on Canvas

Interview by Celia Archer

Images courtesy of Geoff Diego Litherland

To read more about Geoff and to view his work, please see his page:

http://www.antlersgallery.com/artist/geoff-diego-litherland