Dark Flow is about capturing transitory, elemental forces using dark, tonal grounds (largest surface area) as a starting point…
Following the completion of Dark Flow, there will be a lateral triangulation bringing together elements of all three preceding works via a range of routed, flat relief pieces, sculptural in nature, on an altogether larger scale.
Pure colour abstraction differs from traditional notions of perspectival and representational space: fore, middle and background. Abstract Expressionism generates a depth of field all of its own; it is one that occupies a more cerebral place where base elements such as paint and canvas are transmuted into rare states for heightened visual pleasure in a form of alchemy.
I see myself as a colour liberator: ‘freeing colour from the tyranny of the object’ and painting what sits behind the eyes, in a non-illustrative mark making way. It could be said that all art reflects nature, and it is the nature of ambient feeling that interests me in great part. However, my work also attempts to break through the permafrost of the soul; tonal colours are teased out through a non-determined, investigative process to reveal incandescent, atmospheric auras which announce themselves on hard won surfaces.
A portal into a sense of travelling towards raw elements, Close Tonal Incidents is a collection of work that explores the possibility of tonal shifts which create resonances in a rarefied state. My intention is to take the mind into a different space: engaging with the other. The more chance you create within your work, the greater the possibility of a found quality. This, I think, is the key to development. It offers a breathing space, one not corrupted by man; it is an isolated serenity in a domain of otherness.
Inviting and welcoming chance is crucial to the process; yet happy accidents are constantly manipulated to make a more certain set of painterly outcomes. What I mean by this is to create the opportunity for new territory: welcoming or otherwise, it is a two-way process. The painting dictates as well as the painter, in the same way a table tennis player might instinctively react to an unexpected return in an automatic and deeply intuitive way.
One looks for a rareness in the coalescence of tones; elusive combinations hypnotise the mind, creating a rasa, or Zen-like moment in the painter and viewer. If I were a sailor, I would be navigating my way out of the Rothko Harbour, New York, in the late fifties. My boat, aptly named the AbEx, would be guided by the Noland lighthouse and the incandescent stars of Turner, Klint, Albers, Klee, Stella, Reinhardt et al, on an, as yet, unknown journey; sailing beyond the shadows of others into my own deep, calm waters.
My practice explores the subtle resonances of pure colour overlaid with swathes of tonal wash. It consists of routed, grooved troughs in which the paint sits to create a framework. The overall effect is to produce an eastern, Tantric, contemplative sensibility to what is an established, western form of pure abstraction. The viewer is, it is hoped, taken to a quiet, almost transitory, moment of pure, visual abstraction that derives its colour amplitudes from natural landscapes, seascapes and, in some cases, the industrial decay which surrounds me in the North West.
When you look at the paintings you resonate with my sensibilities. My work is multi dimensional; on one level you look, and it simply looks back at you, but on another deeper level, it invites you to engage with the arrangements of tone and colour and seeks to hold the viewer in a psycho-optic manner. There is push and pull at play here. It is this tension that brings the work alive: the energy that exists between the colours, which interact and repel, creating areas which produce indistinct endings: connected and unconnected, with and without boundaries.
I am visually entranced by the natural weathering process, created by the elements, within found objects of a post-industrial landscape, worn by time and the natural, harsh environment; these are accidental: glimpsed by chance. These studies are the gateway to a much deeper investigation into the effect colour has on one’s psycho-active responses. Borne out of the fire of nature’s alchemy, the history of painted objects is revealed. This speaks less of decay and more of an ethereal beauty: layer upon layer upon layer, each in turn forgotten about but each leaving a trace.
The sandpaper studies you see in the portfolio are very much a work in progress. They are the preliminary sketches which will be re-visited to inspire work on a much larger scale. These studies are the gateway to a much deeper investigation into the effect colour has on one’s psycho active responses.
Don fez; pop in monocle; suck boiled sweets (pref. Gray’s Herbal Tablets); turn on jukebox: select Chet (Baker), Dorothy (Ashby) and Bob (Dorough) for openers; be prepared for Geoffrey Boycott innings of painting with dogged commitment...
The process is to produce a series of small scale studies which will go on to inform the routed, more sculptural tablet paintings.
Routed 50mm board is covered with sand using a sieve, industrial glue and is put through a multi-lacquering process before undergoing a final white-washing process. These become the platters upon which colour is then laid.
Painted colour washes are then interlaced with swathes of tonal wash.
…pop on cape; light up cigar; sand dance, ala Wilson and Keppel whilst contemplating work; disappear into Tequila haze…
Bubble wrap paintings for world-wide distribution
… once recovered, return refreshed with bubble perm, a la Bob Ross…