From 2005 until early 2009 Adam Blackburn's visual practice focused on the theme of landscape and his experience of it. Nurtured from an early fascination and sense of awe towards the rural landscape and the rugged and untamed aspects of the subject, he began to create un-representational images concerned with the depiction and expression of the experience of landscape. A fueling factor always central to the work was that of an enthusiasm and love of the language of paint and the physical act of painting, which can be seen in the context of his work standing firmly in the roots of Abstract Expressionism, Post-Painterly Abstraction and 20th Century British Modernism.
Since early 2009 the natural progression of his work has led him into a period of experimentation and reflection into the themes and inspirations behind his work. During this time a shift can be seen in the focus of his work away from the theme of landscape. Through this period of development he sought to focus predominantly on the properties and the medium of paint itself as the themes to his practice. He has undertaken research and explorations into re-challenging his notions of painting (investigating the processes behind painting both physically and theoretically) and has more recently started examining the properties of paint by allowing a more organic role for the paint and more freedom for the medium, through lesser control, lesser conscious prescription of mark, and a reduced dictation of the medium and interference on his part. Through this period of reflection he has begun to analyse the creative process in both a theoretical and practical sense, researching the psychology that gives rise to certain re-occurring motifs, but also the processes that the work stems from and reacts to.
More recently Adam Blackburn divides his time between the UK and China, where he teaches as an International Visiting Lecturer. He is currently researching the role of improvisation in painting as part of a Phd research project, and holds different teaching and education positions within the UK.
"I believe that landscape, the outside world of things and events larger than ourselves, is the proper place to find our deepest meanings.... Landscape painting is not a provincial activity as it is thought to be by many, but a true ambition like the mountaineer who cannot see a mountain without wishing to climb it or a glider pilot who cannot see a cloud and not feel the lift inside them. These things take us into the places where our trial is with forces greater than ourselves, where skill and training and courage combine to make us transcend our ordinary lives."
Peter Lanyon 1964