Jonathan Freemantle | Portals

With this series, I am painting in reverse. The canvas is dyed with a dark black or
indigo. I then begin bleaching parts of the surface to reveal lighter areas. The
process happens slowly, in many layers, as I attempt to encourage an ethereal
light into the artwork. Finally I add layers of paint, and occasionally ground
gypsum crystals in acrylic medium. The result is hopefully very open and
suggestive of a numinous experience. The paintings appear simultaneously as
portals and as veils and come from an instinct for a kind of light that I have felt all
of my life.

I would say these paintings are figurative in a way. They depict a sense of being,
the feeling in the body, rather than the body itself. I am trying to get to the
essence, in all things, to get to a kind of singularity, or simplicity. These works feel
like they come out of a process, and even then I feel like they come through me,
rather than from me. So really all I’m doing is setting up experiments, working
mindfully, and trying to get out of the way as much as possible so the magic can

Nature is central to my work. Placing my body in nature always brings me back to
the source of why I do what I do. Certain places have more significance to me,
mostly because they are places where the connection with nature is strongest.
To quote Lee Ufan; ‘Our body does not belong just to us. It creates a relationship
with the world. And this relationship is the most interesting thing of all.’

On show starting 20 April, 2023 at the Experience 27 space in Madrid.