Art - May Contain Nuts

Walking into the exhibition at the Thebes Gallery mid-way through the hanging process the first thing I notice about John Blezzard’s works are the contrasts in his style. On one wall are a selection of straightforward watercolours, on the other are some bold abstract acrylic prints (one of which we’ve used for our cover). Stylistically the latter are reminiscent of 1930’s railway posters, although it was actually painted within the last three months. It’s a point he echoes when I talk to him. “I didn’t set out to evoke the period but that’s what has happened”, he says. One of the most striking features is the simplicity of the composition, I venture. “Yes, the more you take out, the more right the design has to be,” he replies. “You look for the basic shapes that still suggest the subject”.
John knows all about design, he used to be a production designer for films, which is why he likes landscapes. Looking for a subject for painting is a similar process to finding a location for filming, he tells me, (launching into a digression about his career which proves so interesting we never get to discuss his watercolours). “I was really lucky”, he says. “I’d been working in theatre for a while but it wasn’t paying, so I thought, rather naively, that I’d go into film.” His confidence paid off. “I wrote off about forty letters to people and I eventually got a reply from someone looking for an assistant production designer, so I worked there for a bit. Later, the chap who worked above me came into work one day drunk so they told me that I would have to stand in for him instead. It would normally take about twenty years to work your way up, but I just stepped into it.”

Kingsdown II by John Blezzard