Channy, born in 1985 was raised in Cambridge with a personal affinity to art from a young age. He was strongly encouraged by his late father Roderick, who was a painter and calligrapher, from as little as five years old. He went on to complete a Fine Art degree at Norwich University College of Arts, specialising in painting, where he graduated in 2010 and currently lives and works in Cambridge. During his time here, Studio 5 at Christ's College Visual Arts Centre has been the creative hub and platform for the artist the past three years. The space facilitates the process of developing his large format abstract paintings, as well as his more inherent love of portraiture.
"I see my abstract work in the same way I see my figural paintings; one is a portrait of a person and one is a portrait of a moment, an experience or the environment in which we live in."
The bold, rich colours which incorporate the cartography of his pieces combine harmony and in contrast, an intended dissonance, both reinforcing the exuberant and often melancholic qualities of the painting's subject matter. It has much to do with the conversation between various plumes of visual dialogue as it does with simply enjoying the process of constructing it.
"I love finding the beauty in the chaos, I love it even more when the audience shows me something in the painting which is completely new to me."
The apparent homage to pop-culture, comic book art & Impressionism is clear, it is as though a carefully composed sub-dimension has been created where all these characters may happily co-exist. They seldom let you stop looking, always giving the eyes something new to see, navigating through the space with a strong visual orbit and a great sense of gravity. Channy's work emulates the energy from his admiration of Vincent van Gogh's 'A Wheatfield with Cypresses' – 1889, where the anthropomorphic essence captured gives the viewer an experience of actually being there rather than just looking at an image. Equally, it is the solace shared with Mark Rothko's 'No. 61' – 1953, which when combined gives you an example of the balance in perception that the artist is trying to achieve. The personified brush marks counteracted with the stoic ambience created give life to the canvas whilst inviting the viewer this overwhelming desire to 'step into the piece'.
"A painting is supposed to be like a good piece of music; it should hold your breath, present tangible emotions and take you on a journey."
Technical acuity and deliberate contrasts form an exciting abstract landscape filled with contradictions and melody. This exploration has culminated in a successful group show titled 'No Furniture' at the SIXONESIX gallery King St. as part of the Changing Spaces initiative in Cambridge, February 2013.
"My work and subject matter are always quite personal to me. We shouldn't expect the viewer to see what we see but instead I am fascinated by the impact of drawn lines, colour and the cohesive ambience. It is with this that I continue to develop my work, engage people and produce paintings which are both stimulating and capable of evoking real, honest sensations.”