Ian GoldsmithArtist and Educator
Artist and Educator
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“Ian Goldsmith is a British portrait artist and the founder of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters (CBPP), an artist-led group of some of the leading portrait artists working in the UK today. Goldsmith’s practice explores the interplay of light and colour, utilising what he says is an “almost scientific fascination with the elements that make an image.” His portraits often have a playful quality, but are also cleverly composed and visually striking.” – The Net Gallery
He currently works almost exclusively in oil on panel and has an analytical fascination with the elements that make an image, particularly colour, creating and innovating different ways to light his subjects and experiment with pigment and colour; continuing the same tradition of exploration in light and colour that so intrigued many artists before him. Goldsmith’s enquiring mind and sometimes childlike awe of the world and universe around him are compelling driving forces that motivate him to represent a truthful and contemporary record of his era.
His paintings are a plea to the viewer to find the same interest in the subject that the artist has found and Goldsmith hopes that each of these works should go beyond just a mundane representation of the subject and should become a desirable object with an intrinsic longevity that will leave a record of what he’s seen.
Shortlisted in the Jacksons Open 2018
Portraits for NHS Heroes
Subject: Tasha Rainsley
Original Artwork: 24cm x 30cm, oil on panel
I think when all this started, many of us were feeling a little helpless, including a lot of the professional artists in the CBPP and we very much wanted to help in some way. Obviously we couldn’t offer any medical help, but we could paint the people who were offering that help, the NHS staff. Thankfully while we were looking into how best we could do this, friend and fellow portrait artist Tom Croft, launched the Instagram project: #portraitsfornhsheroes, which literally became an overnight success. So the CBPP partnered with Tom and offered our help.
With the painting, the background colours are tints of the colours from the hospital navigation map at the entrance to the DGH. I thought it might be a nice way to remind everyone, that although this is a portrait of just one member of staff, it’s meant to represent everyone that works in any hospital anywhere. One person representing the whole family, so to speak.
The other thing is the words. I wanted something to reduce the impact of the colours in the background as they detracted a bit from Tasha. So I wrote over the top. I didn’t really write it out beforehand as I wanted it to be more spontaneous, so apologies if there are any mistakes etc. Anyway, the words are:
“The NHS is a beloved institution considered by many to be more like a family friend than a government organisation. It embodies that noblest of human impulses, to love and care for another, especially when that other is a stranger that you care for like a member of your own family and treat them irrespective of race, religion, sex, age or social standing. The only criteria that matters is that they are sick and they need our help. It becomes like a family to us, when we are beyond the care that a family can give. Often when we are most alone and frightened, it’s then that they become our family and why we take them all to heart and why we the British people guard them so jealously and love them so much. This is why we stand on our doorsteps each Thursday night at eight o’clock and clap and make a noise with long overdue applause, while they risk their lives and work on. They are our mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters, husbands and sons. They are our friends. They are in many ways all of us and no matter where they come from they are truly Great Britain’s!
So thank you so much Tasha and to everyone that makes up the NHS family. The doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, ambulance crew, midwives, radiographers, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, accountants, admin, phlebotomists, occupational health, surgeons, communication, art therapists, audiologists, caterers, clinicians, i.t. support, counsellors, dentists, gynaecologists, health visitors, personnel, laboratory, laundry, mental health, geneticists, neurology, ophthalmology, paediatricians, pathology, porters, psychotherapists, stores, orthotists, nursery nurses, immunologists, pharmacists, paramedics, grounds, infant feeding coordinators, volunteers, managers, and everyone not mentioned but no less important.” Ian Goldsmith
Quote from the Subject:
“I want to thank you so much for doing this, it really captured me and how I was feeling. You can see the marks from the PPE as I’d just come out of critical care. It’s been a really amazing and challenging time and its been a honour to know how much effort, time and love has gone into this portrait. I am very proud, thank you.” Tasha Rainsley