I’m surrounded by my paintings in the intimate and charming gallery space offered by HOURS Space in Bristol. Since the preview last week and the ‘open to the everyone’ days (today is my second) I’ve had to talk a good deal about my work and I’m really struggling to encapsulate what it’s all about.
There are a number of strands of thought going on although they are all linked. First there’s the the idea that everything is made of the same set of parts just put together in a multitude of configurations. Animals, plants and planets deconstruct to the same universe wide fundamental particles (perhaps even particle) which I reflect in the ‘doodling’ painting technique I’ve been using in my studio work.
Then there’s the idea of process. Painting is a process, a repetition of mixing colours, dipping your brush in the colours and applying it to the canvas. In nature many layers of processes are going on. Processes that lead to the growth of plants and how they respond to their environment, how they colonise suitable habitats and how they die. As with any process, whether plant growth or production line, if any one step fails the whole process fails.
This leads on to ideas of equality. Given that a process requires all its functions to work, each function is of equal importance. Like a painting where every brush stroke contributes to the final piece no brush stroke is more important than any other. Some may be larger, others brighter and some sit on top of others but they are no more significant.
It’s a well worn cliché for an artist to insist that their work ‘speaks for itself’. It’s complacent and usually untrue. Are my paintings about, either the continuum of matter, the processes of existence or equality of value. One idea leads to another in a kind of logical strand but is there one fundamental concept?
At least people are motivated by the artworks to want to know more!