John Tordoff Cambridge contemporary artist
John Tordoff     Cambridgecontemporary artist

  I am entirely self taught, having worked for most of my adult life as a professional actor. Any formal training during these years was acquired on various courses at London's City Lit and Morley College. This included a great deal of life drawing, oil painting, watercolour and ceramics.

In 2004 my partner and I bought a small property in Umbria and it was here that I started to apply myself fully to my painting.

In 2005 I had a solo exhibition at the Barbican Library, in the City. Called Icons, it consisted of 18 larger than life- size portraits of historical personalities based on contemporary images.

In 2009 we decided to re-locate from London to Cambridge and since then I divide my time between there and Italy. More recently I have participated in the Cambridge Open Studios and become an elected member of the Cambridge Drawing Society.

I suppose the thing that I strive for most in my painting would be to express an individual point of view. To try to convey to the viewer, clearly, why I chose to paint the picture in the way that I did. A part of this would be a love of strong tonal contrast, the stripping down of the image to a set of simple shapes, perhaps a repetition of those shapes, suggesting pattern, the use of flattened perspective and without losing the representational quality, to push towards abstraction as far as feels appropriate.

With this present body of work, in collage and mixed media, the picture is created in two layers, one imposed on the other. The lower image, of abstract shapes, is created out of newsprint and fragments torn from magazines. The upper image is more representational and painted in acrylic. My aim is to create a dialogue between the layers, the one complementing the other.


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© John Tordoff