Monday, January 18, 2010

micro-macro - fluidity: 2004-2007

This series of works evolved slowly - first starting with less layered compositions in 4 distinct colours - white, aqua, maroon and black. The forms, compositions and colours arrived quite mysteriously and it was actually unsettling to not have a sense of having consciously created the works... particularly the first 5 paintings. Unannounced visitors that puzzled me and took a long time to convince me they belonged. I actually hid them at one stage and only much later - 18 months or longer - did I decide to pull them out and rethink them. It came to me to add the greens to bridge the starkness of the original 4 colours... in the meantime I had been exploring underwater colour and movement whilst swimming and I started to see this underwater realm differently. Also images from New science were turning up everywhere and the idea of particles and the micro-universe was engaging my attention. Eventually the works ended up in the Post-grad exhibition in 2007 at Newcastle University titled 'Fluidity'. Even though by this time I was approaching fluidity in new ways the concept was utterly engaging for most of the 2000's and it lent itself to numerous interpretations. 

These 2 works received awards in in the 2006 Maitland Art Prize in their various sections. The work above 'Untitled' won the Work on Paper Section, the work below 'Sensitive Chaos' ( 1metre sq) was the work singled out for  Highly Commended in the Open $10,000 prize and a small work which was sold was highly commended in the miniature section.  The annual prize was judged by Professor Anne Graham, head of Fine Arts at Newcastle University NSW where I undertook Post -grad studies the following year with her as supervisor. The work 'Untitled' is in the collection of the Mailtand Art Gallery.

Sensitive Chaos - NB: unfortunately the colour not at all accurate in this image.

fluidity - 2007

Work from 2007

These works were all part of the exhibition 'Fluidity' held at Wattspace, the University of Newcastle Student gallery where I was doing Post grad work that year. After a considerable phase over a few years painting geometrically inspired works I was approaching the same fascination with layering and multiplicity in an entirely different way. Quite simply eye problems exacerbated by long hours in the studio working on layer upon layer of fine lines to build up a rich illusion of depth on canvas forced me to consider another way of approaching the work.
Below are a series of small works on paper using acrylic paint applied directly from the tube or from a syringe at great speed. This was not easy to control so the works featured lines that were slightly wonky - something that after the previous intensely exacting line work came as a welcome relief.
Click to enlarge and view.

This work was the most minimal of all that was done during this period of months. the raised line of paint from the syringe gave the work its character - even though it is difficult to view here. the following post elaborates on this a little more.

the rethinking process

Revisiting an earlier work 

Around 2004 I was working constantly in this geometric format compelled to use line and shapes over and over. I seemed to find this too rigid at some point and although I am not sure what possessed me now - I painted over the work as shown under this first image.  The new incarnation was bright and extremely intense - it made for extremely uncomfortable viewing and yet I could not throw it out (middle image). Recently I sanded the top layer back and as I had used acrylic paint straight from the tube there was a significant raised layering of this infinity shape that created an interesting effect against the underlayer. Far from a successful resolved work its value for me is in the act of attempting to articulate something wanting to be born.

detail below of work - acrylic on canvas Try clicking on this image to enlarge and view textural aspect of this work. The studio is often full of such experiments that sit waiting for further evaluation and a sense of where to go with the work. Often the works comanding the most tension and unease much later prove to be important for what is trying to unfold. It took a me along tme to allow this state tension to live in the work, unresolved for long periods, without a sense of direction, like an unanswered question! If you look closely the original layer underneath will be evident.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 2010

Recent work: January 2010 work in progress and some currently on exhibition

Disperse I - Ink and acrylic on linen, 90 x 45 x 10 cm work in progress

Group show at Embiggen Books by Mr Embiggen.

Work on exhibition at Embiggen Books Gallery, Noosa

Group show at Embiggen Books by Mr Embiggen.

Group show at Embiggen Books by Mr Embiggen.

Above right: oval pod abstracts

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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.