Maidstone College of ART, 1968, BA
Goldsmiths, University of London
Guy Beggs’ work as a painter has been influenced by reflections on the nature of existence and the passage of time, as well as with the formal problems of the painted surface in themed series since the late 1980s. Urban isolation was a theme explored through the photo-realist paintings of the 1980s, but this snap-shot view of the world and exacting technique constrained a growing desire for both emotional engagement and exploration of materials and process.
A chance encounter with the Maheno Wreck on Fraser Island, Australia in 1985 proved a catalyst for both, with the rusting hulk inspiring greater freedom with mark-making in a series that progressively became a metaphor for the Australian landscape itself. Contemplation of this ancient landscape and man’s relationship to it resulted in the Australia series, but thoughts quickly turned to primordial and geological timescales to inform the subsequent Earth series.
Surfaces both natural and man-made continued to provide inspiration for the exploration of both physical and metaphysical concerns in subsequent themed series. Another chance encounter, this time with icons in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, informed a further series concerned with time and surface. The time-ravaged surfaces of these once pristine precious objects, presenting an altered aesthetic to the contemporary eye, suggested time-full palimpsests that were a long way from the modern freeze-frame view of time. The Fallen Leaves series that followed draws directly from nature’s seasonal mark-making and surface layering in her annual cycle of regeneration.
Guy Beggs was born in Durban, South Africa in 1947. He studied fine art at Maidstone College of Art, The Royal Academy Schools, and Goldsmiths College, London. He began exhibiting in the late 1960s and has continued to show work in mixed and solo exhibitions at home and abroad ever since. He is represented by many private and public collections around the world, the nearest being Tate Britain and the Museum of London and the furthest the Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand. He successfully combined his painting with teaching and was a head of fine art, a dean of faculty and is the founder and former director of Metropolitan Works Creative Industries Centre in London. http://www.metropolitanworks.org Returning to painting full-time in 2008 he lives and works in London.