“Deterioration” – FOR SALE

5 08 2010

Watercolour, £35

Payment accepted via PayPal (with approx £2 transfer charge)

With this painting, I was trying to represent deterioration and was particularly inspired by the way photographs fade and deteriorate. This helped me when creating the preliminary watercolour for my “Left behind” project.

 

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“Left Behind”

4 08 2010

 

Damaged and deteriorated photograph. The genesis for my painting project, “Left Behind”.

 

 One of the paintings that formed the quartet of “Left Behind”, inspired directly by the above photograph.The full “Left Behind” series exhibited.

 

 

 

It all began here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above photos were taken upon finding out that my Father’s neighbour had died. His possessions were strewn around the courtyard of the housing estate, whereupon they remained for a number of days. During this time no-one came to collect any of them. There were seemingly no relatives or loved ones who had survived the deceased and so these items became the relics of a forgotten man.

Sadly, over time these possessions were damaged and destroyed by the sun and rain. It struck me that, as the only remaining manifestations of a human life, the deterioration of these items was analogous to the fading of memory. As these things disintegrated, so to would any semblance of this man’s existance.

Initially then, my project “Left Behind”, focused on deterioration in the literal sense as I scanned and photographed images of mould and decay. A lot of this was found in the pages of a photo album, which were stained and discoloured, sometimes beautifully so. It also seemed particularly apt to focus on this specific item as a photo album serves to capture and preserve memories and the lives of those within. The photos themselves were far too damaged by rain to be preserved, but underneath these, the colour had bled into the paper, leaving behind abstract, almost spectral patterns: the ghosts of memory.

 

 

 

 

 

My next step was to focus on the sky. This was not initially a conscious decision in terms of this project – I’ve always been passionate about capturing the sky at its most beautiful, beguiling and awe-inspiring – but when it came to developing my concepts, the ethereal beauty of the sky and the profound but enigmatic emotions it conjures seemed fitting to the subject of life, death and memory.

Of course, the sky has spiritual connotations, as with ‘looking up at the heavens’, but this was not specifically what governed my concepts. It served, more than anything, to direct the subject matter towards a more positive and reflective conclusion; the idea that although this man led what may be considered a lonely existence, he existed as part of a greater whole. We are all connected on a fundamental level by the unifying nature of the Universe.

More specifically, the idea of memory becomes distorted by the Universe as time is stretched across infinite matter. When we look into the sky and at the stars, we are peering into the past, as the light from distant objects takes so long to reach us. This is particularly apt as this is what the project focuses on, the past and its resonance in the present and future. On a philosophical level, this project could also be about Eternalism, the idea that time is just another dimension, there is no objective flow of time, and the past, present and future all exist simultaneously.

At this point, the merging of imagery became important in the representation of past, present and future. The images of decay and deterioration, representing the past and, in physical terms, the present were merged with photos of the sky, which represented for me, ideas of eternity and an indeterminate future.  By allowing these images to converge, I have attempted to ‘do away’ with the idea of a human life as a past event.