Raymond Andrews was born in East London in 1948. He studied under Jack Lugg at the ELTC Art School. In the 60s he met Cecil Skotnes and started painting under his tutelage at Damelin College. Skotnes introduced him to Ernest Ulmann in 1967 and he worked as an assistant to this sculptor and designer for two years. Due to the influence of the above artists, Raymond Andrews’ works are mainly oil paintings on wood.
He prefers wood as a medium rather than canvas, as sometimes he carves or engraves the surface of the wood to achieve a two dimensional, graphic rendering of the content. Oxides and pigments are rubbed into the carved background, and the surface is rolled and painted with artist's oil and alkyd paints and sometimes also gilded in parts. In essence the panel is developed as an incised oil painting. Carved or incised wood embellished with raw oxide pigments and sometimes gold and other metal foils is an old art form found in African, equatorial and many oceanic cultures.
The artist says of his own work: “ My approach is often technically sophisticated as my roots lie in
the curious, resourceful and complex culture of Europe. As a result, my work sometimes display a multitude of overlaid processes which can make them intriguing. However, since I have always been immersed in the richness, the heat, colour and diversity of Africa and have been much affected by its spontaneity and innocence, my approach is often direct and fundamental. My exposure to the East has also left its mark. My subject matter is almost always natural rather than man-made and often involves human enquiry of a spiritual kind. I explore history, mythology and fantasy not formally, but light heartedly. If at all I attempt to convey a message, it is simply to remind one of forgotten dreams, hopes and aspirations and of the potential we all have to live in a state of gratitude, celebration and grace.”
Two beautiful large examples of his oil on wood work is included in our 30&31 May Auction. The works SHANTI (Lot 439) and THE HEADDRESS (Lot 487) were both previously part of the Standard Bank collection.