Artists in Waterloo #5: Chris Horner

Throughout the Waterloo Festival 2020, we've been platforming artists who either live in or are connected to Waterloo. Chris Horner, a member of the The London Group, repurposes old building waste, breathing new life into material which once provided shelter and contained life within it.

STUDY #1, Charcoal, Acrylic, Neon UV on Canvas

My artworks explore the relationship between artist and material. I transform pre-used building materials into new painted sculptural artworks. I like to restore life back into these pre-used building materials, which were once important and wanted, and experienced a feeling of appreciation and value when used on the building site. I support my Father in the building trade. I have to balance my art practice with this job as it enables me to keep producing work, and acts as a financial supporter, which I believe for any artist is pivotal in this current climate. I am very lucky to be able to support my Father because it is a job, which I have connected to my art practice in order to fuel and expand my style of making. I operate with pre-used building materials like; cement, plaster, building sand, strong liquidizes, with art supplies; glosses, acrylics, oils, turpentines, etc.

I create experiments, which originate from an invented movement called an 'Unknown working process'. This is when both pre-used building materials and art supplies are mixed together. I am interested in finding out how both might function differently when put in an obscure process. It is not about the end result, it is all about the different actions that happen in between the process of making. Having a range of subjects to work from as a reference point supports my understanding when I am constructing each piece. These themes include; playing with elements of chance and deliberately setting up modes of risk taking, challenging my creativity by testing my levels of endurance, working with known and unknown factors which share a link to the familiar and the unfamiliar, and producing works through devised systems and operations which emerge from rules, rituals, and a strong state of being obsessed.

I believe my art is an expression or an application of human creative skill and imagination. This enables the viewer to experience the world differently. When making each piece I not only like to challenge myself, I like to distort the mind of the viewer where familiar associations are interrupted by themes relating to the unfamiliar.

There are many artists who have influenced me. If I am thinking about my current position within my practice, and the STUDY SERIES, which I produced in Lockdown, I would have to say there were three artists who heightened my knowledge within my making. These artists were; Peter Sedgley, Fahrelnissa Zeid and Helen Frankenthaler.

Peter Sedgley, Glide

I chose to look at Peter Sedgley’s work because I was interested in how he works with colours. Each colour which, is used becomes intensified through the power of light. This then made me think about colour sequences and colour transformations.

Fahrelnissa Zeid, Resolved Problems (1948)

Zeid’s work is loose and very expressive, but at the same time tight and complex. I like how she swings between these acts of making. The swirling and crossing lines in her works give an original feeling of chaos. The shapes which start to appear in her work were filled with carefully chosen colours. The result is a complex, kaleidoscopic effect. I was drawn to her working style as it incorporated suggestions of order and chaos.

Helen Frankenthaler, Jupiter (19