8/12/22 - 15/1/22
For our final gallery exhibition of 2022, OUTPUT presents a new body of work by the painter George Welch. George’s large canvasses are rich in narrative and frenetic brushwork, exploring the mental and practical challenges of life as an artist. This sense of risk and uncertainty is encapsulated in a seedy, gambler’s den-style installation and a new set of works painted on playing cards, free for visitors to take away from the gallery.

George Welch is a Liverpool-based artist who graduated from Leeds Art University in 2019. He has since exhibited around the UK, most recently at Humber Street Gallery in
Hull and at The Royal Standard in Liverpool. Growing out of sketches, collages and the
churn of received imagery, Welch’s semi-figurative works explore ideas and experiences
through dramatic colour and hints of narrative.

Instagram: @georgewelchart
Website: georgewelchart.co.uk

Please join us for the exhibition launch on Thursday 8th December from 6-8pm.


What are the themes or feelings that have gone into the creation of these works - what are they "about" for you?

The creation of these works draws from my personal feelings arising from things that were or are happening around me. Some of them stem from ideas surrounding wealth, the promise of fame and  fortune, mental health, politics, friendship, community and various other aspects of life. Through the process of making, I find meaning upon reflection. I don’t think the works occupy a very specific space or idea really; they seem to attach themselves to a shared experience, which I believe allows people to discover a connection with the paintings. It might have more to do with discovery, possibly.

Why do you feel drawn to creating such large paintings?

Making larger paintings feels right for me. It offers me more freedom, which compliments my fluid way of mark-making. I think scale for me is quite important too. The paintings have the ability to generate a new space, an invented dimension really... similar to windows or maybe even a television. Maybe these are all secondary to some warped view that bigger is better… I think I was onto something with the idea of a window really. In the future there will be times when scale might change and even materials too but for now I’m really happy working through these choices, so watch this space... I am known to be impulsive.

How did you get started as an artist - is it something you've been interested in since childhood, or a more recent fascination?

This is interesting for me. It's hard to say, I don't think there was a great interest when I was a youngster, I was more interested in football and playing out with friends. I had too much energy to sit down I suppose. Towards the end of my schooling, I became more interested in art. It was one of the few subjects I really enjoyed doing and I was good at it. What to pursue when you’re younger and life looms? Everyone in my school was going off to university, so I decided that I’d go and do a fine art degree. I went off to Leeds arts university, which was alright, it wasn't until the end of my second year that I thought about being a practising artist. I think the fascination has developed over time. As I have put more and more time into painting, I find it to be so integrated into how I think and navigate life. It seems to give me a purpose.

Who are your biggest influences as an artist - both in painting and the wider art world?

I go through phases I suppose, like most people, I love David Hockney’s eye for colour, in fact I think anyone I am interested in has a good eye for colour and composition really. I don’t tend to focus on specific artists so much, but something I like to do that helps me get inspired or think about my own work is watching artists Q&A. Gerhart Richter is a great one for me as his personality almost does more for me than his work does. He seems to have a good grasp on painting and the absurdities of art. Rinus van de velde is another one, his drawings are fantastic but his work with inventing spaces and sets for his own artistic films is so intriguing. Painters whose work I really love at the moment, I think Adrian Ghanie is worth mentioning, Caroline Walker’s beautiful feminist paintings are some of my favourite works. The way in which she paints and her use of colour and understanding of light blows my mind. Have a look at the works of Andrew Cranston too which are great paintings that verge on Doig’s mystical realism. I think that's enough for now, it will probably change in a few weeks.

What are your aims or ambitions for the future?

My aims for the future, hmmm… just to be able to have money for rent, food and art materials. All jokes aside, times are hard but I would like to see the work maturing and get it out there, putting on more shows and trying out ideas. I want to put on challenging and exciting projects. I think I’d like to travel if possible and experience some new scenes. A trip to Berlin would be great. In the end, to become a full time artist would be the goal and just wrap myself up in amazing things artistically but also practically for people around me to enjoy. I also want a fantastic studio and a beach with surf all the time, numerous houses around the world in fantastic locations and to retire my folks and give them the means to live out their days on a beach somewhere. This answer sounds like a letter to Santa doesn't it?

Do you feel that Liverpool is a good place for an emerging artist to be based?

I think Liverpool is a good place to find your feet as an artist. The scene is quite small to be fair. It’s a place I'm familiar with so it's easier to navigate but I’d say if you were trying to develop a career in the arts to be looking at other places to go and explore opportunities and cultures outside of that comfort zone. Or put some of that effort into creating more DIY scenes which I'm sure would absolutely take off.