Studio International

Published 27/02/2020

Jake Wood-Evans – interview: ‘I don’t think you can make a successful painting unless you are bold and commit to the action of taking away and risking something’

Taking great baroque altarpieces as his starting point, Jake Wood-Evans marks out his composition, applies his paint and then starts to move and remove it, leaving abstract traces, like the passing of time

Studio International spoke to Wood-Evans about his inspirations and his process.


Entering the Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre is currently something like entering a church or sacred space. The lighting is low and focused on the large, arch-topped canvases, created especially for this exhibition by Hastings-based artist Jake Wood-Evans.


Wood-Evans’s work derives from his fascination with the baroque, especially, in this instance, with the grand altarpieces by the likes of Rubens and Van Dyck. However, after marking out the basic figuration of his version of the painting he is working from, he then sets about removing elements, pushing the paint about in its fluidity, mixed with turps and linseed oil. His resulting imagery sits somewhere between figuration and abstraction – with an element of the meditative – inviting viewers to bring their own interpretation and narrative to the traces and relics of what has been, both on Wood-Evans’s own canvases, and on the canvases of the original paintings, with the passing of time, added layers of varnish, and restorative work, all leaving their mark.


Jake Wood-Evans: Relic
The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre
10 January – 29 March 2020

Interview by ANNA McNAY