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TONY ALDRICH

Originally from Lancashire, Tony grew up in the South West of England, and following a career working as an architect in London, Cambridge and Bath, he returned to Devon in 2001 to take up a lectureship at the University of Plymouth. Here he spent 15 years teaching design and developing a postgraduate programme concerned with enlivening students’ spiritual and personal creativity. Throughout this time he also continued to be an active artist – engaging with the process of painting and drawing that since early childhood had always been ‘at the heart of things’. Not surprisingly his work today still reveals the lessons learnt from architecture. In addition to the expected love of drawing, there is always a heightened awareness of composition, detail and structure, and our dynamic sensory/emotional experience of space.

In this sense, the roots of his subject matter have always been ’empirical’ rather than theoretical. There was always a desire to begin with everyday sensory experience and, through working process and analysis, to find the larger truths within it.

“I realise now, more and more, that my work is an attempt to understand how our material reality is linked with our poetic realty – how they both conjure each other. It is why I have recently felt the need to significantly evolve my process (my mark making and compositional language in particular) and pursue an aesthetic that is becoming increasingly abstract and concerned with tectonics.

Perhaps this was inevitable given my background in architecture, as there was always a preoccupation with how the material language of a works’ construction can speak poetically. In painting it is a quality I admire in the work of artists such as Alberto Burri, Conrad Marca-Relli, and Pierre Soulages. But always the underlying goal is still the same – to recognise the meaning and poignancy within moments of everyday existence and to make them endure through painting.”

Tony is a member of the Plymouth Society of Artists and of the 21 Group of Artists of which he is currently chairman.

Selected Exhibitions

2020                Birdwood House. Totnes. 21 Group of Artists.

2020                Artmill Gallery. Plymouth. Plymouth Society of Artists

2020                Artmill Gallery. Plymouth. Joint exhibition with Adam Milford and Adela Powell.

2020                Penwith Gallery. St Ives. 21 Group of Artists.

2020                Penwith Gallery. St Ives. Plymouth Society of Artists.

2019                Birdwood House. Totnes. 21 Group of Artists.

2019                Artmill Gallery. Plymouth. 100 Artists.

2019                Theatre royal Plymouth. Plymouth Society of Artists.

2019                Artmill Gallery. Plymouth. 21 Group of Artists.

2018                Birdwood House. Totnes. 21 group of Artists.

2018                Limekiln Gallery. Calstock. 21 Group of Artists.

2018                Theatre Royal. Plymouth. Solo show.

2017                Theatre Royal. Plymouth. 21 Group of Artists.

2017                Penwith Gallery. St Ives. 21 Group of Artists.

2016               ‘Empirical Landscapes’ Autumn exhibition of paintings with Adam Milford at Artmill Gallery. Plymouth.

2015                Exhibition of drawings at Artmill Gallery as part of ‘drawings, prints and ceramics’ show (Winter 2015)

2010                Design ‘process’ drawings shown as part of ‘The Purpose of Drawing’ exhibition. Cube Gallery. Plymouth University.

2010                Drawings exhibited as part of ‘Cabinet’ exhibition. Peninsula Arts Gallery. Plymouth University.

                         (exhibition catalogue – isbn 978-1-84102-281-9)

2012                Exhibition of drawings at Artmill Gallery as part of ‘drawings, prints and ceramics’ show (Winter 2012)

2012                Photographs contained in RIBA publication entitled ’21st Century Plymouth – a city of contrasts’.

2007                Xmas exhibition. Artmill Gallery. Plymouth.

2007                ‘Surfaces and Places’. Autumn exhibition of paintings and ceramic works by Adela Powell. Artmill Gallery. Plymouth.

2006                Summer exhibition at New cooperage. Royal William yard. Plymouth.

2006                Summer exhibition. Artmill Gallery. Plymouth.

2006                Spring exhibition at ‘Fishwick Gallery’ University of Plymouth (Exeter campus).

2005                Xmas exhibition at Plymouth Arts Centre.

2004                Autumn exhibition at ‘Swarthmore Centre’. Plymouth (as part of Plymouth Watercolour Society).

2003                Autumn exhibition at ‘School of Architecture’. University of Plymouth.