My paintings are formal reconstructions of real experiences and could be seen as equivalents for the circumstances in which they originated. I use squares, handwritten notes, maps, and spontaneous marks as tools in my work to engage the viewer. Frances Bacon said “It is the job of the painter to paint”, I would take this literally and attempt to make a connection with whoever engages with this work. I am concerned with the physicality’s of paint, a sense of place and wonder, how to convey this, how to ask and possibly answer questions that may arise from this encounter.
The paintings in this exhibition are based on ‘this tree on a hill’. Separated from other trees, it acts like a sentry, overlooking the community and at the same time we are aware that we are surrounded by these guardians.
As an artist, I have a tendency to isolate certain elements of everyday life, the intention is to highlight something that may otherwise go un-noticed. I first became aware of this tree in January 2013 and through drawing I noticed that it could be seen from the centre of town. The ‘Street Heads’ are the results of this, they connect the rural with the hustle and bustle of urban living. There is an independence here that is in direct contrast with the dependency that exists walking and running through the streets of a busy, midlands town.
I have handwritten notes or directions in the work. The lines can flicker in and out of visibility, emerging from and then vanishing beneath layers of paint. Some of the conversations are addressed to the viewer, while others may be more like my own mutterings.
Both elements are snap shots, nothing else, just pure silence, it is taking something that is already there and adding nothing. Each painting would be similar to single frames, that ended up on the editing floor, they are like throw-away images that have been given a new lease of life.
I hope there is a wilderness in the paintings, there is life, death, renewal, also a sense of pathos, even as it reorients me towards the correct disposition of a man in reality, which is absolute wonder at ‘ What is’. They have in them a sense of the untamed and illogic if the attempt to put order on this mysteriousness and beauty that is in our everyday lives. These paintings depict the what is there, rather than what our culture has decided to describe or ignore.
There is a sense of this other place to which we constantly, unknowingly, compare everything we encounter. The work could be seen as an attempt to put Wonder back into our everyday experience, and to remember its place in our day.
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