This is the pivotal exhibition in Marcus Hodge’s established career. It represents a radical departure from representational painting towards work of a more abstract nature. Many of these symbolic paintings were inspired by a further trip to India and time spent in Mumbai. The Gateway of India left an indelible mark and so became the starting point for a series of paintings, as well as a metaphor for the stylistic change taking place. Pictures were complete, not when no more could be added, but rather when no more needed to be removed.
This new direction has allowed for a far more visceral approach giving the materials greater expression, unencumbered by representation. Different tools such as large spatulas, knives and lengths of wood were used to introduce the elements of risk, chance and opportunity. Each painting becomes unique in the artist’s search for the unexpected.
With a more restrained economy of means, the paintings are less about finish as about the process - a process of not knowing, one that may reveal something you weren’t looking for. The picture finds itself in the mysterious and compelling process of being painted.
The Gateway of India has been a silent witness to many important moments of history. It is the backdrop to the unfolding daily events of the many gathered there. As evening approaches and the red sun dips into the Indian Ocean, the surrounding area takes on an almost carnival atmosphere. Musicians and hawkers vie for the attentions of the throngs of tourists, as young couples wander under the watchful eye of elderly chaperones. The whole of life plays out in this arena, each and every day adding its small mark to the layers of history and time.