Andrew Smith is a Wales-based painter working consistently with color by means of exhibition projects and exploring cultural contexts by establishing exchange links with international partners. Andrew has worked on public art projects and commissions exploring color in terms of location and scale. His curated projects include Re/take Re/invent funded by the Arts Council of Wales. In 2018, Andrew was AiR at Sauerbier House, South Australia for three months, supported by Wales Arts International. His most recent residency was in North East India followed by a tour of Madhya Pradesh with an exhibition at Alliance Français de Bhopal and this experience informs current practice. As an educator, he has taught throughout his career and until 2017 was Director of Fine Art at Bangor University. He participated in the International Painting Symposium Mark Rothko at the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia in September 2021.
''Recent work over the past 18 months has been studio based and reflective of the international placements of the preceding 24 months. Taking as a point of reference, Dubuffet’s notion of non-place (1), my practice has evolved through a parallel questioning of objectivity with a methodology using multiple 2D media about memory and experience of place. With diffused imagery, there is an interrogation of reality, with dense clustering of line, shape, and color, intersecting graffiti-like gestures and marks. Rhythm and repetition, spontaneity, and design are all features of current drawings and paintings as I explore an alternative reality. My painting methodology of working on location is defined as creating ‘scapes’ (involving multiple facets of a subject) evolved through both exploratory studies and the production of a definitive project portfolio for exhibition. Following a series of residencies beginning with Sauerbier House, South Australia in 2018, the move away from geometric abstraction was facilitated by the response to the different place. Colour, Surface, Light, the exhibition title at the Australian residency, describes the main concerns of my painting practice that has evolved as a studio-based inquiry. Through a desire for more flexible and less structured ways of working, my painting has developed into a fluid and expressive idiom. My overarching aim is the continued deconstruction of existing methods to forge an abstract painting language encompassing the idea of ‘scape’. In short or longer residency situations there is relational time to assimilate surroundings and context, hence the work necessarily shifts and evolves depending on the place; the method explores the physiognomy of location.''