Mike Fryer, statement & history
 
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About my work
I use colour as a means of expressing my excitement and sense of joy about the Creation all around me – I paint mostly landscapes and abstracts inspired by life in all its glorious colour and vitality. My paintings are mostly acrylic on canvas although I also paint on board or paper and in oil or watercolour. My landscapes aim to subvert the expectation of what is landscape and how we expect landscapes to look; they also subvert what I am expected to paint.

My method in landscape painting is to simplify form and to harmonise colour over the flat surface. The observed colour of objects may be changed or heightened and the harmony is created by the careful placement of complementary and contrasting colours. The use and juxtaposition of colour are of prime importance in my work with the effect of subordinating representational elements as can be seen in the ‘Chimneys’ series. My abstract work includes a method of painting I have been developing called ‘abstract graphism’ whereby a written text or emotion is represented by graphical and colour elements that can be ‘read’ to discover the underlying meaning, ‘The Commandments’ being an example. I have also been exploring the fusion of landscape with abstraction such as in the painting ‘South Darenth’.

My prints are mostly digital with some etchings and a few screen prints. The screen prints comprise blocks of uniform colour that are carefully arranged to convey moods and feelings using effects of colour juxtaposition. My etchings range from simple black images of motifs that appeal to me to abstracts of colour. My digital prints are made with the use of a computer and a high grade ink-jet printer using stable pigment-based ink; the digital prints start as a sheet of blank electronic ‘paper’ and are ‘drawn’ or ‘painted’ using an electronic pen. The digital prints include series such as ‘Vertigo’, ‘Flight’, ‘Transitions’ and ‘Dreams’.

Exhibitions (Various, including):
2001 short-listed for the ‘Corner Art Prize’, London.
2001 selected for the ‘By Hand 3’ exhibition at the County Gallery, Maidstone.
2002 selected for the ‘By Hand 4’ exhibition at the County Gallery, Maidstone.
2003 exhibited at the ‘Contemporary Print’ show at London Print Studio.
2004 short-listed for the Arundell Trust Art Exhibition Prize and exhibited at St Ethelburga’s, Bishopsgate, London.
2004 three works (comprising 14 canvases) accepted for the ICI/LDAF exhibition ‘Still Inspired’ running for one year at ICI Corporate Centre, London.
2005 exhibition ‘La Joie de Vivre’ at Nevill Gallery, Canterbury.
2005 surgery on both shoulders - not much painting for nearly a year!
2006 part of ‘By Hand 8’ at Dartford Public Library during December.
2007 solo show 'Listening Colour' Dashwood Gallery, Hall Place and Gardens, Bexley, Kent.
2007 part of ‘ko-ax’ open art competition, Mascalls Gallery, Paddock Wood, Kent.
2007 joint exhibition ‘From Eden to... Eternity’ Regional Countrystudy Museum of Cherkassy, Ukraine
2008 work exhibited at BT Wholesale, London
2008 work exhibited at Baltic Exchange, London
2008 work exhibited at LloydsTSB, London
2008 solo show at Npower Corporate Centre, Swindon
2009 joint exhibition at BT Wholesale, London.
2010 joint work exhibited at reception at British Olympic Association and Paralympic Association, London.
2010 joint exhibition at BT Wholesale, London.
2010 work included in ‘From the Darkness’ at Little St Peter's Church, Brighton, part of Brighton Festival Fringe organised by Mascalls Gallery, Paddock Wood.
2010 exhibition at Employers’ Forum on Disability, Gold Reception at the Garden Museum, London.
2010 joint exhibition British Olympic Association and Paralympic Association, London.
2010 solo work exhibited at reception at House of Lords (organised by Employers’ Forum on Disability).
2010 solo exhibition at BT Wholesale, London.
2011 work exhibited at Art in the Dockyard Exhibition, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent.
2011 joint exhibition at Employers’ Forum on Disability, Gold Reception at Church House, London.
2011 joint exhibition ‘Just The Way We Are’ joint exhibition with Sevenoaks Visual Art Forum at ArtsSpace, Cranbrook Library, Kent.
2011 joint exhibition ‘Artists Access to Art Colleges’ (AA2A) University of the Creative Arts, Canterbury.
2011 Contributing four A1 prints to Shape Arts Pop-Up Galleries.
2012
Painting another panorama of London.
2012 ‘The Big Picture’ (4 June), Community Arts project to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
2012 Taking time out from exhibitions to paint.
2014 Two print reproductions of London Welcomes the World auctioned at the BT Sport Relief Ball (The Grosvenor House Hotel, London) on March 26, 2014.
2015 Exhibiting at Xross-PolyNation Art Gallery, Maidstone.
2016 joint exhibition ‘The Art of Being’ at Xross-PolyNation Art Gallery, Maidstone.
2016 solo exhibition ‘Continuum’ at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley.

Member of South East Open Studios since 2000 (web-only member 2016).

Works in collections:
2005 Two works in the ICI Permanent Collection: a single canvas ‘Heaven and Earth’ and a ten canvas work entitled ‘The Commandments’.
2011 The major painting ‘London Welcomes the World’ purchased by BT Wholesale for their Corporate Collection.

Awards/Residencies:
2002 awarded a residency at London Print Studio.
2002 awarded a grant from Southern & South East Arts to develop digital artwork.
2007 ‘Artist of the Month’ National Disability Arts Forum (www.ndaf.org).
2009 Accepted on the ‘Sync SE’ leadership in the arts development programme, a two-year training course funded by Arts Council England, South East with funds from Accentuate.
2010 awarded Artists' Access to Art Colleges (AA2A) residency at University of the Creative Arts, Canterbury.
2011 the digital print ‘Dockyard Water’ shortlisted for MacWorld Digital Artist of the Year, 2011.
2011 the digital print ‘Wheelchair-bound’ selected as AA2A ‘Pic of the Week’ April.
2011 The digital print ‘Wheelchair-bound’ chosen as the ‘Pic of the week’ by AA2A and shown on their Twitter page: http://twitpic.com/4k0ial

Publications:
1989: Co-author and joint illustrator ‘The Woodland Ecology Pack’, published by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.
2001: ‘Painting in harmony’ article in South East Arts ‘Disabled People and the Arts’ Newsletter.
2005: Various paintings featured in ‘Limited Edition’ magazine and ‘Focus’ magazine.
2006: Fryer MJ. Complementarity. Optics and Laser Technology; 38: 417–430. A discussion and investigation of complementary colour featuring two paintings by the author.
2009 Fryer MJ. Sensations from Nature. International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics; 4, No. 3 (2009) 219–227.
2010 In progress: ‘Living Colour’ an examination of colour in plants and painting.