The work which I have produced for the last twenty years or so has been completely abstract; it’s what I do best. I draw my ideas from a variety of sources and these include music, landscape, the work of other artists and found objects; but inspiration can come in any form. The trick is to know how to harness and be able to use to your advantage, the raw material that comes your way. I am also an art historian and have taught the subject for nearly thirty years now. My particular interest is in the Early Italian Renaissance and this too has been a source for my own picture making. There is no substitute for the one-on-one encounter with a work of art and looking at the work of others is essential for the development of any creative artist; you can’t be a writer without reading or a an actor without going to the theatre. There always has to be an exchange of ideas and it’s the same with painting and sculpture – I can’t produce work in a vacuum; I am always trying to hunt down something to kick start the next project. Art must, by its very nature, be elitist; by this I don’t mean that it should be reserved for the rich few – quite the contrary. Making art is a serious business and its meanings and values should not be diluted, simplified or watered down to the point of devaluation. Art is more precious, complex and beautiful than that and as creative artists I think it’s our responsibility and duty to haul ourselves up to try and meet to the challenges that art presents to us.
Gerard teaches on the Diploma