Living Memory: Barry McGlashan

16 November - 9 December 2022

“I read recently that you only ever remember things once."

McGlashan's recent work is a journey through memories, from the faded beauty of a photograph to those elusive, fragmentary images remembered from his travels. His layered, subtle paintings set out to evoke passage of time and the fragility of recollection.

After that initial event you only remember remembering them, like playing back a recording.


This is why the original memory can change - growing and expanding, accruing with new

encounters and eventually becoming a palimpsest of layered meaning. A new truth, if you will. The paintings in this exhibition are made in much the same way and seek to explore the myriad visuals of memory. I think no matter the style or subject, all painting could be said to be reliant on some form of recall.


When working in the studio I am constantly referencing other artists throughout history;

sometimes consciously, sometimes not. I’ll also use memories of places, photographs - faded and marked from years of studio practice - and passages from literature or remembered scenes from films which continue to play out somewhere in the back of my head.


All these truths and fictions become mixed in painterly distortion and the resulting mutability of a remembered image or event is shared as subject and object. There is a fascinating relationship between the visual of the original source and its changing representation over the intervening time spent painting in the studio. I find an innate beauty in that, like the fragility of recollection.


For me, the ideas in painting are like glaciers not flash floods. They arrive gradually and so I have painted many of these ‘memories’ before in different forms. Each painting is really a sum of time spent, just as we could be said to be the sum of our memories. Each element, each mark is a layer of time.


But somewhere in the centre of all that thinking and making runs a seam of common intention: a desire to explore and evoke shared experience.


Now, after many years spent alone in the studio, I find painting as mysterious as ever. Somehow it is at once about time past and yet newly arrived - like a living memory.”

To find out more or request a catalogue please get in touch.