George Blacklock

Dean of Chelsea College of Arts

Chelsea College of Arts


George Blacklock is a painter of renown who has shown extensively in the UK, Europe and America. He has been represented by Flowers East since 1996, and has received awards from the Welsh Arts Council, the Greater London Arts Association and was a prize winner at the John Moores contemporary painting competition. He has work in many collections including the Arts Council of Great Britain.

Research interests

Fine art, painting and abstract pictorial space.

Research statement

"I am interested in what abstract pictorial space can and cannot do - what it can contain or carry."

George Blacklock's research is centred on the progressive development of abstract painting - "what this fictional space can and cannot do". This interest in pictorial/fictional space has led to an enquiry into the possibility of narrative in abstract painting.

'A painting is quite a complex object,' says Blacklock, 'complex in its making, complex in its reading'. In the studio he finds a similar complexity of thought: 'a collision of ideas, images and instinctive speculation.' He believes that painting is a continuum of activity and that paintings betray, rather than demonstrate, intentions. To him, this suggests a more complex relationship to intention than might be expected, and that 'an intention arises from a whole web of ideas, rather than in linear fashion. The most pertinent quality to have in the studio is that of watchfulness.'

He works in a sequential or open series of paintings, in each, a shape or form is revisited/restated within different 'contexts'. The use of variable pictorial space tied to a specific formal 'narrative' stems directly from his interest in religious paintings and sculptures on such themes as 'Annunciations' and 'Pietas'.

His current work re-interprets such 'given' narratives to allow other or 'extra' narratives to occur.


Lorrice Douglas, Discreet Works.

Selected research outputs