Since graduating from the Royal Academy Schools in the late 90s, Nick Archer has steadily built a reputation as one of the country’s most intriguing painters of both the figure and landscape. Archer’s paintings possess a nocturnal, Lynchian quality that suggest a shocking, dystopian vision of the world in crisis, a journey at an end. His most recent work combines a painting style reminiscent of the Early Northern European Tradition with the genre scene backgrounds of artists like Breugel, Uccello and Bosch to more contemporary cinematographic language of recent dark fairy tales such as del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth and Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow and Alice in Wonderland. Archer is currently represented by Long & Ryle, London and by Gowen Contemporary Art in Geneva. He has exhibited extensively, including at The Threadneedle Prize, the Lynn Painter-Stainer’s Prize, The Jerwood Drawing Prize, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the BP Portrait Award. He lives and works in Rye, East Sussex.

The House  Nicholas Archer  oil on canvas, 183cm x 152cm, 2016

The House
Nicholas Archer
oil on canvas, 183cm x 152cm, 2016

Lisa: When you paint, what are you searching for?

Nicholas: Colour is often a driving force. I studied colour theory whilst a student and I often use complimentary colour to create the atmosphere that I am searching for. Also a balance between accidental paint marks and marks that I have control over. I want the paintings to feel as if nature has played a part in their creation.

Lisa: Can you tell us about your most recent work and how it relates to previous work?

Nicholas: The figure has returned to the work. For five or six years the figure has been absent, replaced by other motifs. The caravan was a major theme for a while followed by other vehicles and rural cottages. I always thought of these as having personalities though. The windows seemed to be eyes looking at us. They had a story to tell. For the last 12 months, the figure has been central to most compositions, but small in scale and overwhelmed by the natural world.

Read the rest of Nick's interview on Jackson's Art blog