MY USE OF SERIES
"The space is hardly ever spacious"
"The moment that grabs me, that tells me to paint is always seeing something in life, its an intuitive response that I use the paintings to try to figure out. Playing this direct observation against drawing rehearsed and reimagined, lets me place objects that are made mythical and part fictional by their repeated fictionalisation, into real spaces.
In one period of painting I often come back to a certain object as the root of a series, reworking and reworking until it becomes almost mythological. In my paintings, the space is hardly ever spacious. I'm really driven by the almost claustrophobic feeling of a close tightly packed space, a space that is hot, clammy and folded in on itself.
The first series pictured here is Chris's Poinsettia, a lavish and lush creature in the house I was staying just before and during the coronavirus pandemic. These paintings were worked on rapidly at first then revisited later, made between late 2019 and mid 2020.
The previous most prominent series was the Triangle Series, which primarily covers paintings done between 2013 and 2015. This series began as a collaboration with Hisachika Takehashi, using ultraviolet paintings he made in the 80s as the ground for new work. Using this patterned day-glo surface triggered a new way for me to think about the space in my paintings, which I'd long been trying to collapse and fold out of my figurative domestic scenes.
The densely woven print in Takehashi's work made me consider how the deep abstraction of geometry has its own definition of space, a reference rather than a depiction. Below you can see a number of works where I'm playing with how to combine pattern with objects, layering patterns, and how the pattern works with the space created by the body of the paint itself.
The Chair Series was the earliest series I worked on, starting with some of my first paintings at the age of 15, the works below span 2005-2009. In awe of the work of Vincent Van Gogh I painted numerous versions of his paintings, and went on to adopt his method of exalting common day objects.
The attention I paid to this chair made every time I encountered t seem special, as though I had imbued it with the "aura" of the artwork that Kant spoke of, by drawing it over and over. This notion of an object becoming a symbol is something that is almost constantly recurring in my work.
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