After training at the Slade School of Art and the University of Provence, Jeremy Houghton’s formative years as an artist were spent in South Africa as Head of Fine Art at The International School of Cape Town. On returning to England, and the village of his childhood – Broadway, he set up a studio and fully devoted himself to evolving a personal aesthetic.
Houghton’s wor...k is an ongoing study of movement. He paints the atmosphere and essence of specific places, focusing on their spatial and temporal liminality. The people and objects that characterize these scenes are illuminated by the way that he shapes the spaces between things, and the spaces in which bodies linger, shimmer, move and often take flight.
A broad variety of adventures and experiences have shaped an artistic development that has been chronicled through a rich context of specific commissions, international exhibitions and residencies. The many prestigious residencies have taken him into close proximity with the sources of his work, enabling him to witness important events, and draw on the immediacy and vibrancy of places to provide images that energize his narrative. He was an official artist for London Fashion Week in 2008 and the Olympics in 2012; artist in residence at Highgrove in 2013, at Windsor Castle in 2014, at Goodwood in 2015, for Ben Ainslie Racing (America’s Cup) in 2017 and most recently for Wimbledon.
In recent years Jeremy has become increasingly known for his migrating birds and flamingo paintings. “I love flamingos, but they are almost a tool for me to experiment on the canvas”, he says. “They give me complete versatility because they’re always moving; there are always different shapes, different colours, different lights, and different reflections: a kaleidoscope of options.”
These richly textured oil paintings explore the dynamics of motion and light, inviting us to speculate upon our changing perception of reality and the different ways in which we represent the visual world. Jeremy continually explores the potential of negative space to represent light, and often references ma – a concept used in Japanese aesthetics that translates roughly as a ‘gap’ or ‘pause’ – traditionally helping to balance the relationship between different areas of an image. Each piece is created with freedom and fluidity, using tone and form to portray movement and space, often in a manner that seems to distance his images from the confines of time.