New members: Rob Floyd and Christine Garwood

Christ Looks Into the Empty SkullBorn in Hertfordshire in 1975, Rob Floyd received a BA in Fine Art from the University of Sunderland, before moving to Chorlton, Manchester- in the late nineties where he lived for fourteen years before recently relocating to Wilmslow, Cheshire with his wife and son.

Rob is an artist of the imagination. His work is underpinned by scripture and mythology which is constantly reinterpreted and reimagined in an attempt to help maintain these traditions and keep them vital and relevant to the contemporary world.

Predominantly an oil painter, Rob is known for his bold, expressive brushwork, symbolic use of colour and often large scale canvases.

Portraits also figure largely in Rob’s oeuvre, and his sitters include the writer and philosopher Colin Wilson, the Rt Revd. Mark Davies, Bishop of Middleton and Andrew Shanks, author and former Canon Theologian at Manchester Cathedral.

Rob has been exhibiting regularly since 2008 in galleries and church spaces in the Manchester area. Most recently, he has just completed a Stations of the Cross cycle for Manchester Cathedral: two years in the making, the cycle consists of eighteen large scale (life sized) canvases and a further illustration depicting the fourteen traditional stations and four further meditations around the subject.

Rob is also part of an ongoing collaboration with the writer John Fitzgerald, the fruits of which include their book ‘The Red Diamond’, a poetic story penned by John and featuring twenty one illustrations by Rob as well as several joint shows in Manchester.

christine_garwood-run_with_the_fire_3Christine Garwood enjoys working in a wide range of materials. Interpretations of her ideas are either detailed and realistic or free semi-abstract paintings depending on the subject matter. Ideas are often inspired by Biblical passages linking with natural forms seen in both landscapes and seascapes.

Through a fascination with colour and an enduring love of texture, she often adds an extra ”dimension” to her paintings by using ”free” machine stitching to create another layer of interest that cannot be conveyed by painting alone. She calls this ”painting with thread” or ”drawing with a needle” and she works on both fabric and paper.

Due to her Christian faith, her work has evolved to incorporate ideas relating to our human experience and to the elements around us – earth, air, fire and water.  She is interested in the physical boundaries of the world as we see it now, linked to themes like creation and eternity and her ”vision” of the spiritual realm – creating endless exciting possibilities of colour and form. Forms have boundaries, limits, but colour has a more etherial quality which endures beyond the actual images, therefore  some of her paintings are about a ”seeing” process that goes beyond the physical.