Rob Lyon lives and works in Sussex, UK. He paints landscapes — largely rural, sometimes urban — and things found within those landscapes. A focus is the South Downs and their locale. He grew up near them, lived elsewhere (Bristol, Oxford and London), and returned to them. His work varies in the degree of abstraction arrived at but remains firmly rooted in the landscape. It all stems from memory of place.
The South Downs – their immediate beauty – have inspired generations of artists. A landscape, heavily shaped by deforestation and agriculture, Rob seeks to explore not just the beauty but also their energy, menace and scars. The generous, expansive chalk escarpments set above dense, totemic yew groves imbue the Downs with a tension between the picturesque balance and, yet, something malign, threatening even. Rob also finds humour in them. He wants his paintings to capture that confusion, expressing not only the light but the dark also.
With the South Downs identified as a possible site for ‘fracking’, the narrative of human exploitation continues – a society’s desire and moral limits are played out on, in and beneath this landscape. For Rob this underscores the enduring relevance of landscape painting.