Adrian Sykes was born in 1970 in Merseyside and studied at Bath College of Fine Art. Now a full time professional artist, Adrian enjoyed 20 years as a professional flautist. Based in Bristol, Adrian works out of Jamaica Street studio in a thriving artistic community in the heart of the city's centre.
Adrian injects personality into simple city landscapes, inspired by the... many places he has lived and travelled to; from the towering metropolis of London to the pristine rooftops of France. In his characteristic surreal and quirky style his work pays homage to the diverse beauty of these landscapes rather than attempting to faithfully represent them.
"In my cityscape paintings, I hope to capture the essence of places, the extraordinary and ordinary aspects of great cities without labouring on the mundane, hence the playful moving of buildings and eliminations to suit the final condensed composition, very much in the 'Capriccio' style. I seek to achieve the sense of standing on an ordinary rooftop overlooking backyards and everyday life, being able to observe a place’s highlights whilst being removed from them."
Adrian's paintings are imbued with a special extra dimension or a story built into the image, one which is left to the viewer to interpret. They are simultaneously quirky, joyous and intriguing.
"With most of my works I try to express a feeling of joy and happiness. I like to add humour and quirkiness along with bright colours which I hope give the paintings a lightness and optimism. I aim to capture a sense of 'hopefulness and peace' but sometimes enjoy adding slightly unnerving or even comic elements.
Whilst a house alone on a lake might be someone's dream home or sanctuary, its setting is one of isolation and impracticality requiring extreme effort to reach or escape from. I use distorted scale to present visual challenges such as high walls, tiny windows, elongated ladders, towering cliffs, tall trees and long winding paths to add drama to the moment.
Some may be a more likely setting for a dark fairy tale than one that ends happily ever after, but what I try to achieve is giving the viewer pleasure in making their own interpretation of the image before them."
He has exhibited solo shows in London and has also had his work displayed internationally. In 2011 he was selected from over 1000 artists to appear in the BBC2 series ‘Show Me The Monet’. Art critics were shown a piece of work by each artist and selected a shortlist which was exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London.
His awards include: First Prize - The Bristol Art Prize 2013; Finalist - Young Masters Art Prize 2012; Finalist and Artist with Highest Bid - Show Me The Monet BBC2 2012; First Prize - The Bath Art Prize 2010.