Gerald Edward William Shepherd

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INTRODUCTION TO MY WORK

Added Jun 12, 2019

GERALD SHEPHERD F.F.P.S.

ART WORK:

When I began painting in 1974, I experimented with many styles. These included surrealistic paintings, abstracts, sculptures, assemblages, environments and text based art - many of which I have continued to explore. I also produce a wide range of conventional figurative work.

I wanted to find a means of continuous creation in my work and in 1976 I found a style that enabled me to maximise and test my inventive ability. I began to experiment with sequential and developmental formats that allow a systematic analysis and elaboration of a thematic image or idea. I also began to combine images, symbols, numbers and words with controlling structures derived from science and mathematics. With tongue in cheek I coined the term IONIST ART for this work (this is what you get if you remove express from Expressionist Art!). I have since used the more descriptive term of MEDITATIVE PROCESS ART for this very complex work.

My interest in system based art diversified in the eighties. I began to use music forms as structures for my work and also became fascinated with merging painting with writing and theatrical ideas - setting poetry to paintings, image dramas and performance pieces, etc. Typically, the music based work consisted of a thematic statement followed by a series of variations or a development section where the initiating material is expanded and explored.

I am also producing series of MEDITATIVE LANDSCAPES, STILL LIFES & PORTRAITS. This work combines observation with the systems, image sequences and symbols developed in my other work. The landscapes etc. attempt a more holistic representation of the natural world and the portraits attempt the characterisation of a person using colours, symbols and signs.

I have shown regularly at the Loggia Gallery in London and I have had many other exhibitions of my work. I have paintings in private collections, public buildings and on business premises throughout England. In the Nineties I exhibited regularly with the international Free Painters & Sculptors as well as other national and local art groups. I also participated in Elyn Carleton's "Creators" and "Innovators" groups.

I am happy to work to commission and I will consider any project, either solo or collaborative.


ART GROUPS:

I founded the Ionist Art Group in 1987 to organise collective multidisciplinary events and facilitate the exchange of ideas between artists and scientists etc.. The group eventually had a large international membership of scientists, visual artists, writers and musicians. I organised monthly meetings in London between 1988 and 1992, staged a handful of science-art exhibitions and edited a quarterly newsletter (Ion Exchange).

After this I began to organise exhibitions, music concerts and related events to campaign and raise funds for animal welfare and wildlife conservation charities. These ran from1992 to the end of the Century when I moved the project online. I am currently working on a new website after the original one had to close a number of years ago.

I also organised exhibitions of modern art in Wiltshire (Modern Wiltshire Artists) and Hampshire (Modern Hampshire Artists) from 1994 to the early years of the present Century.

I continue to organise modern art and multidisciplinary exhibitions under the Ionist Art Group Banner. The latest being an annual series of shows at the Paul McPherson Gallery in London between 2011 and 2013.


PERSONAL:

I am profoundly interested in all the sciences, especially physics and chemistry. I am also passionate about geology, astronomy archeology, history and geography.

I have a more practical interest in all aspects of Natural History - including botany, zoology, palaeontology and ecology, particularly in terms of conservation.  I have worked on a voluntary basis for the Wiltshire Wildlife Conservation Volunteers, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, M.O.D. Conservation Group and the R.S.P.C.A. I am currently a non-active member of the Hampshire Wildlife Trust, Royal Horticultural Society and The Ramblers Association.

I also enjoy walking, reading and listening to all types of music.

Recently widowed, I live and work in Andover, Hampshire, UK.

Exhibitions

Added Jun 19, 2019

1986:

Coracle Gallery. London

Oval House Gallery, London


1987:

Bajazzo Gallery, Marlborough

Redgrave Theatre, Farnham


1989:

Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design

Dance Attic Studios Gallery, London


1990:

Library Gallery, University of Surrey, Guildford

Dance Attic Studios Gallery. London

Bournemouth & Poole Co1lege of Art & Design

Gloucester Museum and Art Gallery

Loggia Gallery, London


1991:

Oxford Polytechnic

Boxfield Gallery, Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre

Letchworth Museum and Art Gallery

Loggia Gallery, London


1992:

Central Studio Arts Centre, Basingstoke

The Athenaeum Arts Centre, Warminster

Trowbridge Civic Hall

Loggia Gallery, London

Fairfields Hall. Croydon

Lauderdale House, Highgate


1993:

Harvey Road Gallery, Guildford

The Hexagon, Reading

Loggia Gallery, London

West End Centre, Aldershot

Bourne Hall, Ewell

Argile Gallery, London


1994:

Boxfield Gallery, Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre

Main Gallery, Salisbury Library

Harvey Road Gallery. Guildford

Guildhall Gallery, Winchester

Godalming Museum

Haslemere Museum

Watford Library

Stanmore Library

Loggia Gallery, London


1995:

Loggia Gallery, London

The Hexagon, Reading


1996:

Loggia Gallery, London

Main Gallery, Salisbury Library

Harvey Gallery Guildford

Bourne Hall, Ewell

The Hexagon, Reading

Chelsea & Westminster Hospital


1997:

Loggia Gallery, London

Boxfield Gallery, Stevenage

Bourne Hall, Ewell


1998:

Loggia Gallery, London


1999:

Westminster Hall, London

Loggia Gallery, London

Mount House Gallery, Marlborough


2000:

Loggia Gallery, London

Forest Arts, New Milton

Jelly Leg'd Chicken Arts Centre, Reading


2001:

Boxfield Gallery, Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre

Jelly Leg'd Chicken arts centre, Reading

Andover Museum

Maltby Contemporary Arts


2002:

Forest Arts, New Milton

Courtyard Cafe Gallery, Winchester

The Hexagon, Reading

Harvey Road Gallery, Guildford

Black Swan Arts, Frome

Hearn & Scott Gallery, Andover

Newbury Corn Exchange


2003:

White Horse Gallery, Marlborough

Hearn & Scott Gallery, Andover

Osterley House, London


2004:

White Horse Gallery, Marlborough

Andover Museum

Cottons Atrium, London

Hearn & Scott Gallery, Andover

Weyhill Fairground Arts Centre


2005:

New Art Centre, Chatham

Art Shed, New Milton

Hearn & Scott Gallery, Andover

Osterley House, London

Gallery 92, New Milton

The Crypt Gallery, St Martins In The Fields, London

Boxfield Gallery, Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre


2006:

Hearn & Scott Gallery, Andover

Cottons Atrium, London

Blythe Gallery, Manchester


2007:    

 Bankside Gallery, London

 Hearn & Scott Gallery, Andover

 Oasis Centre, Andover


2008:    

 The Bronze Gallery, Hartley Wintney

 Oasis Centre, Andover

 The Nucleus Gallery, Chatham

  The Artshed, New Milton


2009:

Oasis Centre, Andover


2010:

Oasis Centre, Andover


2011:

Oasis Centre, Andover

Ace Framing & Gallery, Picket Piece

Paul McPherson Gallery, Greenwich


2012:

Ace Framing & Gallery, Picket Piece

Paul McPherson Gallery, Greenwich

A.P.T. Gallery, Deptford


2013:

Paul McPherson Gallery, Greenwich


2014:

Hundred Years Gallery, London


2016:

Brick Lane Gallery, London


    

Reviews 1

Added Aug 12, 2009

THE ADVERTISER, JANUARY 12, 1990
Paintings from a world of ‘unlogic’

An extraordinary exhibition of paintings and drawings by Gerald Shepherd is on show at the University of Surrey’s Library Gallery until February 2.

In an heroic attempt to fuse art and science, Shepherd has invented a new. pictorial form - “process art”. The result, is a room full of highly detailed, very puzzling pictures constructed in such a novel way that they look like the creations of some quite separate culture.

A dedicated artist and an avid follower of the latest scientific developments, Shepherd has. devised an art form which develops rather like a pictorial equation to explore the dizzy metaphysical worlds of nuclear physics, biochemistry or advanced computer technology.

Inspired with almost missionary zeal. he has also formed the Ionist Art Group
to promote closer links between artists and scientists world-wide.

Titles such as. Vectors Trapped ln Scalars or Announcing Binarlogues may turn the simple art lover a bit weak at the knees, but fortunately a maths degree is not an essential aid to proper pictorial enjoyment. The titles, like the compositions, are grandiose but essentially light-hearted and the pictures can be enjoyed on a number of different levels.

Through his “process” paintings. Shepherd takes images from the real world and breaks them down into constituent parts in strip cartoon-like sequences of carefully drawn mini-pictures.

A single composition may contain more than a 100 tiny ideograms which follow on from one another in long strips, twisting and turning across the picture plane. Random numbers and arrows weave about the strips to further promote a sense of orderly progression, but close inspection reveals that these works spring from a gleefully surreal Lewis Carroll world of “unlogic” rather than a dry exploration of scientific concepts.

Shepherd describes the creation of his bizarre hieroglyphic sequences as “a bit like pushing snowballs downhill.” Certainly you can sense his imagination gaining speed as the original starting images metamorphose into scores of startling permutations, ranging from fire breathing dragons to disembodied forests of arms, in their steady progression across the picture plane.

Many of these “process” paintings are laid out like board games, but only one, A Modern Odyssey, deliberately mimics that form. Based on Homer’s Odyssey but substituting the marvellous monsters of science for the original mythical beings encountered, the composition resembles a Monty Pythonesque cross between Scrabble and Snakes and Ladders.

Colour has become progressively more important in Shepherd’s work and some of the most recent compositions feature strips of hieroglyphs stacked in separate, brightly coloured layers which resemble glowing oriental carpet designs.

“Found” objects also play a part in stimulating the artist’s imagination. One painting in homage to Chagall evolved from a panel with an attached plank which has been sanded down and had mixed media worked into it to create an overall “aged” appearance similar to that of a mysterious ancient wall painting excavated from a lost world.

Beatrice Phillpotts


“Six Artists” (22 April-12 May)

In the case of GERALD SHEPHERD’s highly ingenious constructs, the subtle use of hundreds of tiny hieroglyphs is an ever-recurring and most distinctive feature. This is a very personal language feel. which the artist has perfected in the course of his career, and which can give his own unique meaning to any subject. For example, an analysis of two contrasting themes, Still Life - Improvisation and ‘Waterfall - Compton Acres (Meditation)” will reveal that they are both integrated with similar series of diminutive icons, yet their placing on the picture surface gives to each an entirely different character. When I last reviewed Gerald’s work (Newsletter June 1995)1 commented that “his vision is of an essentially well-ordered universe ... in which good old common-sense assumes a god-like stature”. I have not changed this view, but it is a gut feeling, and the language remains an enigma. There is a surreal quality about this work, full of strange juxtapositions, but suggesting a deeper truth. The “good order’ I referred to five years ago is there, but remains unseen, which is its fascination.

Philip Worth


GERALD SHEPHERD,
20 April - 10 May 1996

The day that GERALD SHEPHERD runs out of ideas will leave the FPS much the poorer. He conveys a restless almost mathematical energy, with all his works composed entirely of tiny diagrams - and I defy anyone to find that he has repeated himself. Particularly amusing is ‘The Biopsy’ in which a simple figure (presumably a surgeon?) is holding a panel on which is a mass of small designs, rather like pieces of machinery. If this represents the patient, I fear for the diagnosis! ‘Prelude and Postlude’ is an exercise in a masterly control of colour, with over 80 small triangles subtly graded so that they become more brilliant towards the right side of the painting, which is presumably the ‘Postlude’.

Freda Wadsworth


GERALD SHEPHERD. I could repeat much of the above in relationship to these paintings. But rather than pointing out Sutherland, etc., it would be the surrealist I take note of, Wadsworth, Hillier, etc. These paintings are calligraphic in nature and have to be read. I did respond to ‘Sequential Landscape’, and the manner and style of the work made me think it would be a study for a mural painting, not that anybody seems to want murals much now.

Brian Yale


GERALD SHEPHERD

22nd April - 10th May 1991

The many and varied exhibitions of paintings shown at the Loggia during the past years pay tribute to the broadness of vision exercised by the Free Painters and Sculptors in their acceptance of experimental works of art. In view of this, most visitors to the gallery expect to see work of a more controversial nature than the straight flower-piece or portrait.

The twenty-eight paintings and drawings presented by the artist GERALD SHEPHERD generously provided the means by which these expectations could be realized. The artist’s work had no direct link with past modes of thought, but it seemed in my view to fall somewhere between Indian or Oriental art and the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians. Painstakingly, and with great precision, most of the work was arranged in a kind of Board Game/Strip Cartoon style with numbers, arrows, animals and abstract designs pigeon-holed within various compartments. The detailed shapes within these compartments seemed to have more importance attached to them than to the picture as a whole, thus presenting a challenge to the intellect, and relegating aesthetic appreciation to a secondary position. This was, however, compensated slightly by the colour and general design of the compositions.

Gerald Shepherd’s statement to the effect that his paintings are near unsolvable mysteries even after being read, prompted me to resist further analysis and to allow my mind to wander through this maze of seemingly illogical symbols and wonder if, maybe, these were the manifestations of the unrelated thought forms that flow continuously through the human mind, woven into a colourful and attractive pattern. This was substantiated when I came upon the painting entitled ‘Three figures in a Lane’. ‘The Light of the World’ was also an interesting work. It had, I think, something of the Last Supper concealed within its orange, pink, red and yellow confines. This interpretation is probably way off course - in which case my apologies to the artist.

I greatly admired the paintings in the front hall which were, I thought, the most stimulating in the show. The absence of colour in these particular compositions was to their advantage. The exhibition on the whole was successful inasmuch as it was thought-provoking, often frustrating but always challenging and exciting - appealing probably to people with a leaning towards the sciences rather than to the pure aesthetic. I congratulate Gerald for his inventiveness and for pulling on a show that was different and, which aroused such vigorous discussion.

‘E. T.’
(Edward Taylor)


GERALD SHEPHERD’s contribution to this show is very much in his usual manner. the artist’s preoccupation with masses of tiny hieroglyphic figures is both fascinating and challenging. I have often heard him talk about his work when he has made it clear that, for him, painting is as much an intellectual as an emotional activity. I feel sure that his is a very personal language, and there may be elements in his creative processes which we cannot fully comprehend. But, for me, Gerald’s vision is of an essentially well-ordered universe, one where simple logic transcends, and where the identity of truth and beauty is manifest. I feel a curious sense of comfort and assurance when I look at the hieroglyphs, and this in no way abates when they are surrounded by a blue chaos, as in ‘Variations on an Amorphous Theme. His is a kind of Chestertonian cosmos, in which good old common sense assumes a god-like stature. The artist is essentially a communicator, and in ‘Script’ he is not afraid to use actual lettering, as did the early Cubists. In one piece -‘Improvisation at June’s - did I get a sense that the painter was at the receiving end. What is going on, here? Gerald could tell us, of course, but my impression was of a wild party which had been gate-crashed, but this had not discomposed the resourceful and charismatic hostess! There is a frenzy of colour in this picture, but also a sense that the cool, clear mind of the artist has imposed a meaningful pattern on it all.

Philip Worth


GERALD SHEPHERD

16th November - 4th December 1992

Finally I come to the paintings of Gerald Shepherd. Just a quick glance at the titles of these works gives something of a clue of what to expect. I choose three at random, “Salisbury Plainsong”, “Many Burials between Birth and Death”, “Sound Visualization with Echo over Narcissus”.

The paintings are graphic in style and execution, and personal in language. When one talks about paintings, or In this case writes about them, one seeks out comparisons in order to explain them. I hesitate to do so for these because I believe Gerald Shepherd is working out a language of his own. But just for starters let me point to hieroglyphics or ideograms, comic strips. Mathematical or biological diagrams and so on. This seems to be the area of play in his work. Sometimes they are restrained like “Saga”, which I liked, at other times frenetic and dense in textural references. The mixing of what I read as main and secondary signals with almost casual doodles in one sequential image was daring and effective.

Although I have to admit that I am not sure that what I read in the pictures was always what was intended, I assume that this is part of the nature of the work. In some ways the paintings have the appearance of a sheet of music, and, not unlike musical composition, present a theme and subject,
then proceed to develop it. Recapitulate it and finally resolve it.

I would myself have liked to have seen some works on a larger scale, maybe Gerald Shepherd has some, I do not know - but I feel there is a potential in his work which could be explored on a larger scale. I do in fact mean at a mural scale, but there you go. I am fantasizing again on someone else's behalf and maybe I should shut up and try and resolve my own problems. Anyway a very interesting show and I look forward to the next instalment.

Brian Yale


THE FREE PAINTERS & SCULPTORS 1952-1992 (BOOK)

Gerald Shepherd, an idiosyncratic artist concerned with the fusion of art and science which he called “Process Art”. His compositions contained a mass of ideograms which were contained within waves and stripes related to some referential image within the picture plane. His paintings were outside the scope of what is normally understood as painting. In an aesthetic sense they were beautiful, and most people could only see them in that way, for they required reading, and yet remained mysteries.

Roy Rasmussen

Gerald Shepherd, an idiosyncratic artist concerned with the fusion of art and science which he called “Process Art”. His compositions contained a mass of ideograms which were contained within waves and stripes related to some referential image within the picture plane. His paintings were outside the scope of what is normally understood as painting. In an aesthetic sense they were beautiful, and most people could only see them in that way, for they required reading, and yet remained mysteries.

Roy Rasmussen


GERALD SHEPHERD - FOREST ARTS

Tuesday 12th September - Friday 6th October

Shepherd has been working out a language of his own since the 1970s. He paints in a graphic manner infused with glowing bright colours, combining art, symbolism and science with hieroglyphics or ideograms, comic strips, mathematical and biological symbols. It is difficult to make comparisons between him and other artists except for the mimicking of other cultures and in particular indian and aboriginal communicative painting.

Steve Maclaurin


Gerald Shepherd Recent Paintings
Tuesday 22nd January - Saturday 23rd February

Gerald Shepherd returns to the Centre with a completely new set of paintings. He is a prodigious worker who paints daily. Much of the work he has produced in 2001 explores holistic landscapes that integrate observation with the analytical procedures he has been working on since the 1970s. The graphic style that he developed has now shifted somewhat from his early work to a more fluid and emotional response to his surroundings. He has been particularly inspired and attracted by gardens and places of interest in the South of England. These he lavishly infuses with bright colours and in a more subtle way than before incorporates his own language of symbols and signs. It is difficult to root his work within any particular genre or style.

Steve Maclaurin


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