“Bearing Life” Exhibited

4 08 2010

Casting a critical eye over my work.

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Bearing Life 2006

29 08 2009

Bearing Life 2006

 

I embarked on this project with the challenging task of creating several different pieces of work, each represented by a different colour. However, I started to feel deeply frustrated with all my efforts with the exception of my paintings in red. Red, after all, is a colour that represents a wealth of strong emotion and perhaps it was this ‘short-cut’ to expression that was needed in the early stages of my work.

The idea was to approach this project with a clear mind; an almost ’empty headed’ approach that would allow true emotion to take hold. This, I believe, is why I only felt satisfied with ‘seeing red’; red is an abstraction of strong emotion and therefore bypasses the thought process, tapping into our primal instincts. From this came my only real conscious concept at this early stage in the project: I would paint using only red.

Prior to painting, I had no preconceptions, no firm idea or aesthetic in mind. As a starting point, the paint was applied randomly and in a state of complete mental abandon. Sometimes I started by applying the paint with my hands and feet, and this was also an attempt to make the work literally more physical than thoughtful.

This developed into a long, cyclical process. I would always try to approach the canvas with a clear mind but eventually ideas and visual concepts began to automatically manifest themselves right before my eyes. I like to think that it is the subconscious that creates these images, which once revealed, can be developed using conscious ideas and interpretations. For instance, once I became conscious of something that looked familiar, such as a part of the human anatomy, then I would emphasise and develop it, allowing it to contribute to whatever would emerge next.

I like to think that my art is essentially a process of bearing the soul. Once the paintings start to develop, I allow strong feelings to push the work in different directions. Love, hate, desire, passion and lust are all profound human emotions that I think are prevalent during my creative process. I want my painting to be an emotional journey, as I believe there is no greater artistic expression than the manifestation of human emotions.

Art is something, I believe, that resides within the individual. Just like people, it isn’t any ‘one’ thing, it cannot be easily pigeon-holed or defined. Perhaps the reason why we create and pursue artistic expression is that at certain points it can define us and so is a way of better understanding ourselves and our complex web of emotions.

I don’t want to think about what the finished piece, “Bearing Life” is actually about. Should it be about anything? I think there is strong and familiar imagery that could easily inspire interpretation but this is now irrelevant to me as the artist. I believe in the emotional journey and the process of discovery more than reflection. There is no time to reflect when there is a new journey to embark on!





Bearing Life

29 08 2009

Bearing Life 2006





Bearing Life

29 08 2009

Bearing Life 2006





Detail from “Bearing Life”

8 10 2008

 

Initial stages of project…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above ‘colour experiments’ were the first stages of this project. I deliberately began with yellow tones as this is a seldom used and largely unfamiliar colour in my work. Unfortunately, it didn’t inspire any further creativity and as you can see the work becoming decidedly more orange, it is clear that I was ebbing towards the more familiar territory of red. 

 

 

 

 

These three images show the same section of the finished painting and how it developed. It aptly demonstrates the working process of this project; how images begin to appear, which are then enhanced and perpetuated, until a unified aesthetic begins to emerge.