We chat to Anglo-Mexican artist Geoff Diego Litherland
about post-apocalyptic landscapes, his peripatetic nature, and his love of Radiohead!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Geoff Diego Litherland, I’m an Anglo-Mexican artist who has lived in many different places, and have recently moved to rural Derbyshire. I use the medium of painting to investigate my personal relationship to the natural world - one which I find frustrating as this relationship seems distorted by preconceived images from film, by fantasies from literature, and clouded by contemporary technology. These frustrations are an integral part of my work and I feel I’m nowhere near breaking through them.
I grew up always loving to paint and I’m compulsively addicted to it. It’s not only the act but the manipulation of matter that’s involved, as well as the narratives and ideas that can be woven into the work that fascinates me.
How did you get into art? Is it necessary to go to art school?
I’ve been interested in art since an early age, and have been lucky enough to have done a BA and MFA, and work not only as an artist but as a lecturer and curator - so I suppose my world is surrounded by it. My experience of art school is a very positive one, and it’s allowed me to channel my passion for the act of painting so that I might achieve a more critical and contextual relevance that personally keeps me motivated to continually redefine what I do.
How would you describe your pieces in 3 words?
Post apocalyptic romanticism
What are your favourite materials to use? What materials do you find challenging or produced results which surprised you?
Oil paints because they are challenging and are always producing different results, depending on the surfaces that I use as well as environmental differences.
On average, how long does it take to complete a piece?
I usually work on a few works at a time so it’s difficult to say. They take less than people think, as I try to create details through washes of looser layers of paint rather than detailed brush work.
Who are your 3 favourite artists or influencers?
At the moment it will have to be the novels of Philip K Dick, and the paintings of Michael Borremans and Daniel Richter, this might be a clue as to where my work is heading next.
What type of setting do you visualise your work in?
A decrepit crumbling and maybe historic setting - I was lucky enough to have recently shown work in such a place at this year's Wirksworth Festival.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I like it whenever someone gets really close to the surface of the painting and spends ages examining how I’ve painted the images. Although the journey for me is over on that work, it’s nice to see someone else picking it up.
What is your dream project?
I’ve started doing a lot more collaborations with people, mainly because I now have the time, so maybe a collaboration with someone that has influenced me - if Radiohead got in touch that would be amazing!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Make work about the things you’re interested in.” Given to me by my critical theory tutor on my MFA.
If you could own one work of art from Rise Art what would it be?
I quite like Ed Saye’s Bleached, really beautiful painting, well-balanced composition, evocative colours and a slight disjointed edge to it created by how he’s layered the paint.
If you want to check out Geoff's works up close, be sure to attend his group show at the Lacey Contemporary gallery from the 7 - 24th October!
To see more work from Geoff, click here!