Alex Uxbridge lives a life of contrasts, straddling worlds, with studios in each and a different set of human dramas to depict, be it London witnessed from the top of the night bus, the chalk downs of red brick Wiltshire in the Kennet valley ( where he recently located) or remote North Wales where he grew up. His vision is expansive, secret wishes are given the light of day, and the Mediterranean inspires a different kind of work, one of sensations, as in the 'Summer Holiday Dream' paintings where he creates surreal filmic scenes.
Uxbridge is an artist inspired by poetry and song, be itT.S. Eliot's Four Quartets or Bob Dylan's Desolation Row; and a spirit of place. His island paintings are born of his unique relationship with the Anglesey of his youth. Knowing that he grew up in historic Plas Newydd with Rex Whistler's walk-in dreamscape of a magical harbour on the dining room wall,and cannons on the lawn facing across the Menai Strait to Caernarfon, summons up a whiff of a romantic ideal, of small children in a big house with a dressing up trunk, reading aloud before the fire, and a lost world charting the mysterious passage between child and adulthood. It was an upbringing which provides him with endlessly renewable scope for his imagination.
These pictures are painted with a child's wonderment and the appeal of his outlook lies in its apparent naivety and joyous, gestural freedom that is quite distinctive from his compatriots. Kyffin Williams and Peter Prendergast depict a grimmer reality of wildWales,its people and scenery. This painter is humble in the face of the natural world and its wonders. One senses he sees man as a grain of sand in the scheme of things; humankind and creatures are all given the same attention and scale. His tiny sea crafts, small distant figures, the lamping poacher (necessarily alone), have the mysterious quality of Carel Weight's tumbling people, though these are not in flight, they're battling the elements with insufficient ballast in this windy world. Above all, there is the weather in all its guises,tumultuous seas and skies, cloud shadows, bracing air and horizontal rain.
We see the panoply of moods and seasons; flowering hedgerows at their most startling; meadows blaze with wild blooms, carpets of bluebells strive for light beneath spring trees before their full canopy develops and autumn leaves colour the ground rust red. The medium of watercolour is perfect for his light and subtle capture of the tumult of inland waterfalls and coursing water. And then when the weather is peaceable, his seascapes such as 'Walking Out of the Sunset', with its harmonious couple returning home through the clear shallows of tidal waters, accompanied by a flock of sandpipers, have a beautifully benign quality. Uxbridge notices the curvature of the earth where others see a straight horizon and his way of seeing is deeply compelling. © Jane Hill, June 2012
Born in 1950 and grew up at Plas Newydd,Anglesey, which now belongs to The National Trust. Plas Newydd is on the shore of the Menai Strait which divides the Island of Anglesey from the Welsh mainland and Snowdonia.
1969-72 Exeter College, Oxford. MA in Politics Philosophy and Economics
1972-75 Sussex University. PhD in International Relations 1975-78 Sub-editor at Marshall Cavendish Editions 1979-88 Founded the which retailed Fine Art posters
1989-93 Byam Shaw School of Art. Foundation and Diploma
1994 Cable Street Open Studios (in association with 1994 Whitechapel Open)
1995-05 GreatWestern/Westbourne Open Studios (twice yearly shows)
1997-98 Lamont Gallery Summer Shows, Lamont Gallery, London
2000 One man show at The National Theatre, London entitled featuring childhood memories of growing up at Plas Newydd
2003 One man show at the Boundary Gallery, London.The exhibition included further childhood memory paintings along with observations of contemporary London and illustrations of Bob Dylan’s song
2005 Discerning Eye Exhibition,The Mall Galleries, London
2006 One man show, Boundary Gallery, London
2009 One man show, Boundary Gallery, London
2012 One man show, Highgate Contemporary Art, London