Gary Pilkington: Gravity, Colour and Chance by Richard Nicci
Whether it is chance or fate, Niagara’s Gary Pilkington is quickly establishing himself as a prominent local artist. His unique yet contemporary style sets him apart from the crowd, and Niagara is instinctively taking notice of his distinctive quality and design of his works.
Born in May 1971 (Liverpool, England) Pilkington has the blood of an artist running through his veins. His father Brian has illustrated hundreds of children’s books and designed the postage stamp for Iceland in 1990. His mother, Niki is an illustrator, and has been commissioned by Topshop UK for fashion and design (citing notable customer Sir Paul McCartney.) Gary spent his early adolescent years sharing a flat with friends in London – including world renowned London artist Jason Martin.
Though immersed in the world of art, Gary pursued other interests. While his room mates were studying or painting for college Gary found a niche as a DJ for raves, clubs, bars, restaurants and opening events worldwide, where he mixed uplifting dance music. But blending and mixing beats was only the beginning for Pilkington’s journey.
Gary’s exploration of paint evolved through chance, after he had settled in Niagara with his family. He started experimenting with materials he’d come across through his job as Operating Manager at the Canada One Factory Outlet, stores threw away all sorts of materials, including paint, signs poster boards and canvasses providing Gary with the means to experiment with the craft. Again, whether it was chance or fate, Gary claims, ‘I believe that many influencing factors in my life have led me to my exploration with paint.’
Every piece is extraordinary, and divers in design, so it makes sense that Gary’s approach to painting is also uncommon. ‘Instead of applying a medium with my hands, paintbrush or palette knife, I let gravity, chance, luck and randomization take control over the painting.’ Gary uses an unconventional technique called ‘pulling paint’, using different channels to pull it down. Here he finds the exhilarating feeling of exploring colour, inspiring his creative presence and ingenuity. He also uses tiles, plexi-glass and aluminum sheets, reinforcing his deviation from the norm.
Pilkington’s influences include Jackson Pollock, Keith Tyson. Damien Hurst and Jason Martin, these influences are revealed in Gary’s work, abstract and fluid.
Soon enough Pilkington began displaying his work at the Canada One Factory Outlet In Niagara Falls and quickly received positive feedback – as well as a few sales- for his artwork. Encouraged by his success of late Gary also has work on display at the Quebec Bank Gallery in Thorold and will feature an exhibition of some of his work at the upcoming Springilicious Festival in downtown Niagara Falls. Also during the month of August vegetarian, Vegan restaurant Rise Abovewill showcase his artwork. To catch a glimpse of Gary’s work, visit pilkingtonsart wordpress.com