14 September 2010
Solo Exhibition - Saturday November 20th 2010
Why the exhibition?
Leaning lightly on the next in the cool darkness of the studio, the paintings sleep content.
But they do not live.
They are safe but they are captive. They are held back from view by my worries.
"It is an unfeeling act to send art out into the world." Mark Rothko, 1947
Should I send the paintings to judgement?
I know that the sword of humanistic "quality" will slash at these abstractions; it will pierce both the picture plane it sees and the life that exists beneath.
Shall I go through with this "unfeeling act"?
Anxious as I am and hurt as I may be, I must follow the natural course of creation, the course that is release.
This exhibition is release.
As I write this, sixty paintings slumber in the silent studio, but, as is the case for us all, they need to shine in the light. They need to face the firing squad of critics. They must hear the groans of frowns creasing and the whine of logic rejecting.
Yet each painting will hope to be appreciated. Appreciated for its complexity not its complexion, for its energy not its ease, for its optimism not its colour scheme.
• To find what lies or flows beneath the surface of existence
• To dip the pail
A moment flashes and I'm compelled to capture it, freeze it, explore it. I plunge the pail and strain to raise the weight of vision connected to the moment. I rest it down and stare deep. When the turbulence has settled, however long that takes, the picture is complete.
• To master application in every detail
• To capture a purity of feeling, untainted and unlimited by logic and expectation
• To balance high energy across the work with optimum indistinctness: some observers will find the art too busy (and give up); some will mistake it for random; some observers will start a long term adventure, connecting through their own memories to a painting or to fragments of a painting
The duality of abstraction
An art of delusion…
To the left, minds rant about the rubbish they see: there is no thought, no connection; the art is random and pointless, confused and unnecessary. "This is delusion," they inform.
A wonder of possibility…
To the right, minds slow and stop, look and feel, sense and listen. The spirit within them, outside of them, behind the art, in the eyes and wrapped around the heart, this spirit smiles louder than the left side rants. The right wins this battle within the sensitive observer because the spirit knows the truth behind abstraction - there are always other perspectives, other possibilities.
To the right, the spirit smiles about beauty, concept, connection, placement, impact, depth, necessity.
To the left, the minds inform, "this is delusion."
Artists stand in the middle, looking, listening and feeling left and right, sensing a compulsion to create, "necessary, living pictures"* in response to moments that move them deeply.
* Wassily Kandinsky, Cologne lecture 1914, describing why he painted.
The future is always about possibilities.
I encourage all observers of my work to create their own art, be that painting, literature, music, dance, drama…