In ‘REMNANTS 13’ layers of advertising posters are glimpsed from beneath 19th Century French ephemera, film posters from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, graphite crayons and household paint.
The work is finished off on the back with vintage fabric and signed by Huw Griffith.
This piece is part of a series of work exploring decomposition, the passing of time – inspired by abandoned and timeworn billboards.
Griffith depicts the passage of time by layering his materials – fragile ephemera marked by age. Rare documents, advertisements and cinema posters are taken apart, original images are hidden and context is lost. The emerging image is built out of the remnants, creating a bold, unconventional aesthetic from vestiges of the past. Griffith described his technique as the art of painting with paper.
Huw Griffith trained at Camberwell School of Art. After an apprenticeship as a fine art framer, Griffith began his career working in the picture department at Phillips Auctioneers (writing condition reports\0. This proved to be a free education in everything from old masters to contemporary art.
The artist takes inspiration from found objects, such as old letters, ephemera and frames, picked up on his travels and from trawling antiques fairs. He is intensely instinctive by nature and shows scant regard for creative constraints and any artistic rulebook, preferring the peripheries of the art world and the traditional marketplace. He started off selling his work on the street and has worked his way up from there. The son of the late actor, Kenneth Griffith, his aesthetic has one foot in the historical past, and the other in Outsider Art.
Artistry runs in the blood on both sides of his family. Down the maternal line, Griffith is a direct descendent of the showman William Hagar, a Pioneer of British cinema who ‘followed the coal’, bringing handmade films to audiences who had never before seen a moving image. As a nod to his silver screen heritage, Griffith sources vintage film posters for their early colours and primitive images.
Griffith finds beauty in imperfections, prefers simplicity over complexity, draws inspiration from nature and abides by the principle, ‘knock off the bits you don’t want, and leave the bits you do’.
Known for décollage abstracts, textile mirrors and works on glass, Griffith feels the scope of collage has been overlooked; it allows him to ‘paint with paper’, balancing form, tone and texture.