Survey by Qualaroo

Colin Cina

Essentially, my paintings are concerned with planar structures inhabited by life-forms, with an intentionally urban quality. As the painting proceeds, the form of the structure establishes itself. Then the life-forms evolve physically, either as a function of the structure, or, in some of the paintings, in spite of it. The structure creates a three-dimensional illusion, within terms of which exists the life-form. In 'Pentopolis' and the earlier paintings in the series, the process was more like painting a dream, in which the reality finds its own level, but in which, however far you go, you cannot over-stress the point, there being no economical necessity to stop inventing. But from 'Contribution' onwards, I have been more objective, and the whole canvas has become the structure, ratherthan being the representation of a space containing the structure. It is important to me that the relationships of the two elements retain an ambiguity in their impact, because this moves the work beyond a series of formalised ciphers into the realm of the event and the game. I try to manipulate the elements in each painting until they ask me as much as they tell me. The common factor in all of these paintings is the extreme relationship in scale between the images and the structures. In some cases, by reducing the life-forms to the minimum possible size in relation to the whole canvas, I can emphasise the imminent reality of the situation developed in the painting. I can only explain the geometrical basis of my work as the most satisfying and direct, and the least nostalgic means by which I can represent the structure in and around all of us. Colin Cina: December 1966


Born in Glasgow. Studied at Glasgow School of Art 1961 - 63 and the Central School of Art + Design, London 1963 - 66. In 1966 he won a Peter Stuyvesant Foundation Travel Bursary and visited USA. Taught at Wolverhampton College of Art 1966 - 67 and now teaches at Manchester College of Art and the Central School of Art + Design, London. [Later Head of Chelsea School of Art.]

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