In the digital age we live in, people absorb content at such a rapid pace that sometimes it is necessary to have “one unique thing that can make someone pause for a second,” one local Cape Cod painter said. So unplug for a while to check out Falmouth resident Ian Goldsborough’s new art exhibit Intersections, currently on display at Highfield Hall. The show’s striking works are a must-see for art aficionados and casual observers alike.
To trace Intersections back to its origin, Goldsborough described a time a few years ago when he became interested “in the idea of a moment between two things.” Since painting is his trade, this moment was a visual meeting point between a never-ending space and a flat pattern. “What happens when those things meet? How do they interact? What does that line mean?” Goldsborough said when sharing some of the initial questions he asked himself at the beginning of the process.
Take a look at any of the paintings in the exhibit and it is clear that Goldsborough is much more interested in the exploration of his questions than finding their definitive answers. Curiosity is the basis of Ian’s work ethic and his exploratory approach to art has yielded some incredible results, so it’s not surprising several of the paintings have already sold since the show opened on May 29.
The spaces depicted in Intersections are vast. They are reminiscent of the bottom of the ocean, outer space, and breathtaking horizons. Yet, these seemingly infinite spaces are juxtaposed with meticulously crafted, repeatable patterns. For the actual materials, Goldsborough used acrylic for the patterns and oil for the depths.
When asked about his own outlook on the meaning of the paintings, Goldsborough talked about the patterns representing everyday living. He went on, “Eating, working, sleeping. Sometimes that routine feels cumbersome. It gets us down, but sometimes when you get into those routines, they open up into this bigger space.” The vast spaces almost seem guarded by the patterns, hinting that maybe we only unlock those moments of insight and see past the doldrums of everyday life on rare occasions.
Ian credits his current creative output to an upbringing that encouraged producing artwork. Goldsborough is the son of crafter and illustrator Salley Mavor. As a kid Ian was constantly with her while she worked on projects in her home studio. Ian also lists the Waldorf School of Cape Cod as a place where his creativity was fostered with hands-on projects like painting, woodworking, and knitting.
His discipline and skill did not all arise during childhood. Goldsborough went to Bates College for one year but then decided to take a few years away from traditional four-year colleges. In those gap years he attended classes at Cape Cod Community College and continued painting on his own. He is glad he took that time. He said, “If I had gone to college straight from high school, I wouldn’t have worked as hard. You have to be sure of what you want before you make that kind of commitment.” Ian finished his degree at Maine College of Art in the Painting Department. Intersections is his first show since his graduation last spring.
When it comes to what Goldsborough wants to explore next, it turns out he is still curious about the meeting points that he tried to capture in Intersections. He referenced Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, who painted the same still life repeatedly throughout his career. “He was asking the same exact question for forty years,” Goldsborough said. Both Falmouth and the arts community at large are sure to benefit from whatever questions Goldsborough decides to ask next.
Intersections is on display at Highfield Hall until June 25th. Some of Ian’s work can also be seen on his website.