The Art of Glenn Ibbitson

Julia 1

This article by artist GLENN IBBITSON has been taken, with his kind permission, from his website. All the moths, which have been attracted by a lightbox, are local to Dyffed, and are released back into the world after being photographed. Then Glenn creates these amazing images…

Julia 2

By glennart

crypsis   /ˈkrip-səs   noun: the ability of an organism to conceal itself especially from a predator by having a colour, pattern, and shape that allows it to blend into the surrounding environment.

Though 2020 marks the 71st anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, its central concept remains, ominously, as relevant as ever. How is the artist/ dissident to express unpalatable truths and criticisms of contemporary society and the state apparatus whilst still being able to function as one of its citizens, free from official persecution?

When I first read this masterwork as a teenager, it did seem as if Western society, at least, had insured itself against the risks underlined through its pages. Now it seems that perverse humanity has collectively snatched defeat from the jaws of what was perhaps in retrospect a mirage of victory. 

This series of moth paintings is an attempt to find an imagery to incorporate a notion of surreptitious discourse within mechanisms of crypsis. A dissident giving voice to his or her ideas publicly, rather than merely in secret, by appearing to be saying one thing, but smuggling through a different subtext under a surface cover to convey a quite different meaning. 

The visual deceptions observed in the structure, patterning and coloration present in British moths provided me with visual material to use as metaphor for operating under the radar; fully functioning in plain view, but hidden from all but the closest scrutiny. An inversion on the idea of sleight of hand; not by distracting the eye away from the real subject, but rather fooling it into a misreading of evidence presented directly.

Glenn Ibbitson: The Surveillers and the Surveilled; Moth Watercolours

All watercolour on paper 42.5×61      All images ©Glenn Ibbitson 2020

Kitty Parsons

Kitty Parsons

Kitty is an incomer, with five summers under her belt and the knowledge that even the wettest and greyest of winters have not diminished her love of Pembrokeshire. She knows she will never live long enough to be considered a local but hopes to leave some small mark through writing about this beautiful county and its people.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. September 15, 2020

    […] have written about Glenn and his work a number of times and also about his interest in moths that he has used for inspiration. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *