Landscape can be one of the most conservative of genres, but in the hands of a sensitive, questing artist it can become one of the most radical. Ian Mood is an artist who is drawn towards the shifting vastness in which we live and have our being; an arena of powerful agencies that every so often remind us of their unpredictability and awesome might.
In an age that seems intent upon commodifying the natural world into near non-existence, Mood offers a salutary reminder of the protean energies of the natural world. In his paintings, fluid traces of paint swirl, gather and disperse, like the reflections on the surface of a disturbed pool, to create a perfect equivalence for the dance of light and colour that characterises our experience of the northern landscape. No trace of anecdote or distracting detail disturbs the immediacy of his responsiveness to the dynamic and ever-changing relationship of land and sky.
This is the magic of paint: how from a limited range of colours (and a magisterial use of black) the painted canvas or board conjures forth the glorious pageantry of the heavens, the rising vapours that catch the silvery light, soft mauves and lilacs, colouring the scudding phalanxes of these majestic clouds. Mood captures their wonderful tumult, how the deep blue of the empty sky is counterpointed by their agitated, massy forms of rolling vapour that cast dramatic shifts of light and shade onto the landscape below. Transmutable and contingent, the passing clouds, once pictured in medieval and renaissance painting as the throne of God now rest empty: mirrors of our mood. This is not imitation or illusion, but evocation."