Gillian Lindsay


Project section
Gillian Lindsay: Stone. Wood. Metal.


Artist’s statement

In 1997 I made the transition from film producer to fine art photographer.  I find my greatest joy exploring abstraction, producing work that is more about texture, colour and composition and less about representational subject matter.  I tend to concentrate on man-made surfaces – old walls and floors, windows and doors that bear the evidence of decades or centuries of daily human habitation and enterprise.

When in Europe, I seek out urban side streets and unkempt back alleys, distanced from upscale neighbourhoods with their whitewashed facades. My STONE series was born out of a fascination for these ancient exterior surfaces. Subjected to weather and vandalism, they comprise generational layers of plaster, decades of repair and paint upon paint. Residual fragments of posters long removed mingle with the occasional flourish of graffiti, only to be painted over one more time.

Urban alleys are rife with well-worn doors.  A favourite subject unto themselves, they also conceal the promise within, garages or workplaces with countless possibilities for images.  My WOOD series focuses predominantly on these interior surfaces, often cobbled together, altered and repainted, chronicling a crude evolution over time. I am drawn to scratches, nail holes and tool marks which punctuate layers of peeling paint.  I use closely cropped compositions to remove any contextual reference and emphasize the relationship between shapes, textures and marks. I search for a subtle complexity that invites contemplation.

My METAL series is collected from frequent visits to industrial sites in Canada and the USA. In search of rusted surfaces and distressed paint, my favourite haunts are metal fabricators, salvage yards, railway facilities and dry-docks.  I look for interesting, often raw, layered patchworks of paint colors, as well as numbers or letters peeling away to reveal metal beneath.  Cool hues of fresh steel interplay with warm tones of rust. Here, oxidation is the great metaphor… breaking down man-made materials in their never-ending attempt to return to nature.  In documenting this process, painterly abstractions emerge and my imagination thrives.

© Gillian Lindsay

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