Practice Statement

Simple forms and colour draw on the language of geometric abstraction to create paintings with pictorial space and depth that can be both shallow and vast, concrete and optical. The intention is to deliver an experience of emotional resonance and liveliness that is visually compelling yet seeks to be nothing other than, or more than itself.

The painted composition of diagonals and blocks of sharply defined colour attempt to orientate the viewer towards a perception of the picture plane as both an animate, light filled surface of visually shifting spaces and forms, and a constructed object, a painting made of pigment, textile and timber, formed through material process. Composition of the picture plane, and the arrangement of the paintings in relation, are intended to create an expanding pictorial field built of tensions both implied and actual: the stretch of canvas against the stretcher and the assertion of the diagonal together extend a dynamic space of containment and release.

Kazimir Malevich said of movement, “There is movement and movement. There are movements of small tension and movements of great tension and there is also a movement, which our eyes cannot catch although it can be felt. In art, this state is called dynamic movement [c. 1915]”, (2008).

Paint is propelled/sprayed onto the canvas in masked areas according to a predetermined schema. Slips of the hand create occasional overspray and bleeding emphasising the precision of the painted forms, while subverting the purity of the formal language of edge and line. Dominic van den Boogerd writes of painter Mary Heilmann as deploying a carefully orchestrated carelessness that shows abstraction’s fallible side, where, “In other words, defects have become features.” (2013).

The intention for the practice is to disrupt the innate stillness of the geometric as a measured expression of self-containment and poise, and enliven the field within and beyond the picture plane to meet the emotionally receptive and physically grounded space of the viewer.

Future directions may hopefully extend the emotional experience of the viewer through the use of scale, relationships between works perhaps in series, and potentially using the exhibition space as an active element of the work.

References:

Kazimir Malevich As quoted in: ‘Cubofuturism’, Malevich, in his Essays on Art, op. cit., vol 2; as quoted in Futurism, ed. By Didier Ottinger; Centre Pompidou / 5 Continents Editions, Milan, 2008, p. 59. Retrieved from https://useum.org/Futurism/Futurism-Quotes.

Van den Boogerd, Dominic. (2013). Mary Heilmann: Good Vibrations. Published January 31st 2013 by Walther Konig, Cologne.

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