Essex Tyler Winter Collection

“Painting is like surfing. You do not get anywhere before you have mastered the basics – spot the best waves, paddle out using the rip currents, take off at the point of maximum energy, bottom turn, tube ride, exit with style.”

But, of course, after that, spontaneous and sometimes unintentional movements can produce poetry on the waveface. Essex uses oils, acrylics, beeswax and marble dust. Colours, tones and textures are repeated over and over to work as building blocks, so that improvisation becomes possible. Paint is pushed and pulled around the canvas, leaving traces that are tethers, tracks for the eye to follow upward, across, to finally rest on a deceptively still object, a symbol of shelter not just at the heart of the storm but also at the heart of the calm. For one of painting’s key purposes is to provide shelter from the anaesthetising calm that is the pervasive blandness produced by a mundane culture.