The word ‘shakkei’ (sha’’ kay) is Chinese in origin and formed by two words coming together 借 (borrow) and 景 (scenery, view). Dating back to the 17th Century, the concept of ‘borrowed scenery’ in principle was incorporating background landscape into the composition of a garden thus enhancing the overall aesthetic. Inspired by Michael's travels through Asia and Europe, this luminous collection enhances the beauty of nature's palette, blurring the lines between memory and reality
Painted from Rumsby’s home and studio in Saussignac France, Respair builds on work that was started in the 2020 lockdown (when leaving one’s home was strictly policed) and marks a new direction into still life. Bold and considered, the paintings pulsate with colour and light, reflecting on a long-awaited return to hope after a period of despair, and showing an increased energy with explosions of blossoms and maximum expression. The narrative flickers between the way we experience the past and present all at once; dotted with family heirlooms, antiques and new collectibles to create a nostalgic scene of that was then and this is now.
VIVE ut VIVAS
The collection uses elements of the natural world to represent barriers to progression whilst also offering constant hope through light that emerges across the horizons. The frame itself is explored as a constraint to our visibility – convincing us that what we see within the frame is the beginning and end of the image. The viewer is encouraged to see outside of the framed image – to imagine what is not only beyond the horizon but to imagine the possibilities of looking around the corner, trying a different direction, exploring what can’t be seen. In the hope and belief that there is always a way.
This collection of commissioned paintings is an homage to the time honoured tradition of polo in England on warm summer days. The work captures the dramatic narratives created when the heat of the sun energises life around us. Inspired by equine activities in the village where Rumsby lived whilst working as a corporate executive in Paris, the collection evolved over several years and represents an early foray into his ability to use his painting as an escape.
'Orientalism' is widely used in art to refer to the works of the many, mostly European, 19th century artists, who specialized in "Oriental" subjects. They travelled mainly as addendums to larger groups of archeologists, scientists, traders and explorers, hired initially in these pre photography days to record the sights and general exotica of the Levant eventually travelling onward into the Middle and Far East.