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Artists CV    artwork
Michael Rafferty

“…….. Rafferty has an abiding fascination for grids, divisions, compartments, frames, angles, layers, and lines; for the way these classic ways of organising and ordering a design can achieve an aesthetic harmony and beauty in their own right and a preoccupation with surface and depth – with substrata and the sedimentation of different levels”

“……..these surfaces do not seek to capture a moment in time, to freeze-frame it or fix it dead like a fly in amber; nor do they present themselves as a finished product, the end result of a project successfully completed. Rather, in demonstrating production as process, they seek to honour the experience of time as it is lived through”.

“…….same issues resurface in other work, identifiable by its recognisably Japanese iconography and theme. In pieces such as Beauty is only Shironurai, layers of semi-transparent, textured, Japanese paper overlap to produce – as in a traditional Japanese interior – a series of partially revealing, partially obscuring screens. Again, strips are overlaid and interwoven to create the impression of linings and facings, of windows and grilles. In the case of the larger paintings, the canvas itself has become another screen, images being projected onto the back and their outlines traced through, so that, once again, what we get is the after-effect – a result or trace rather than the artist’s conscious deliberations – and the image comes to us necessarily filtered, distanced and reversed”.

“Solemn and dignified are not adjectives that would immediately come to mind in describing his work. Nor is gravity applicable in the sense of something of extreme importance, although it certainly relates to the physical force that causes all of these paintings to look the way they do. Superficially, many of these paintings look quite conventional, but Rafferty’s eye for colour and sensitivity to the associative possibilities of colour remove these works far from the constraints of conventionality. Many of Rafferty’s paintings gently remind, revisit, suggest and introduce the manner in which the many aspects of colour can play on our eyes, perceptions and associations. The ironic and beguiling nature of the titles for some of these works, which seem to reveal as much as they conceal, is no better exemplified than in the beautiful colours of Wish you were Lovely.”

Quotations from reviews by Prof. Catherine Bates and Nick Smale. Artspace 2004, 2006



My art practice could best be described as eclectic. I do not subscribe to the tenet that pursuing just one particular route of development is the only means of endeavour. There exist many commonalities, shared perspectives and adaptable aesthetic and theoretical values applicable to most aspects of art production. I regard it as a challenge and an adventure to work within a variety of subjects, approaches and media whilst maintaining a consistency and a workable systematic and stylistic formula. Recent paintings exploiting the physicality and reaction of paints (Gravitas and Gravity Series) have been completed within the last few years. Within many of these paintings I set up situations where the paint is able to respond to gravity and the influences of material content. Paint application is very rarely by brush; pouring, dripping, drizzling and flicking predominate. Masking tape polices the no-flow zones.
All of these paintings are carried out with commercial gloss paints. The consistency and fluidity of such paint render it the most suitable medium for the subject and content of these works. These pieces explore behaviour and consequence. Paint could be seen as a metaphor for some human traits, be they well mannered, wayward, cooperative, dysfunctional, discordant, harmonious, complementary, aggressive, biddable or demanding.
This can be perceived as the message of and within these works, or you can simply enjoy them for the visual and playful surprises and memory-jogs that the physical and subliminal content may contain.


Mick Rafferty has exhibited in several locations in the UK including University of Warwick, Coventry University, Upton House in Poole, Leamington Spa, Earlsdon, Huntingdon, Bristol, Banbury, Hoxton, Varenna; Italy, Malvern Theatre, Knapp Gallery Regents Park, Beetroot Gallery Derbyshire, Portico Gallery Sevenoaks Kent. Boundary Gallery Cardiff.

Education: late 1960s BA Textile Design Leeds University, dropped out: 1972 Dip.A.D. Canterbury College of Art: 1990 Post Graduate Certificate of Education: 1998 Masters Degree in Fine Art, Coventry University.