After some reflection and somewhere between the peer critique and the assessment it seemed appropriate to make a few minor changes to the practice statement which accompanied the work for the final assessment on Monday 10th July 2017.
A change of term used to describe the forms as being ‘diagonal‘ i.e. a straight line joining two opposite corners of a square, rectangle, or other straight-sided shape, to the more performative term, ‘band‘ i.e. a stripe, line, or elongated area of a different colour, texture, or composition from its surrounding, seemed appropriate.
In particular the mid sized paintings which I have come to think of as transitional works seem to operate with a greater degree of freedom in which to explore a more dynamic space of containment and release within the pictorial plane, bands stretching and containing the frame intersect and veer off into completely different directions. In contrast, the larger work which still retains the rectangle blocks as background elements, appears to anchor the forms and therefore I think operate more as diagonal, straight lines joining two opposite sides. And if I thought the rectangle had disappeared from the new smaller works it dawned on me that the shape remains an integral part of the work in the shape of the frame and if I speculate or hypothesise on the surrounding interior of the ‘exhibition space’ I might draw on the architectural shape and form of the building as being an active ingredient to the work. A lot to consider and not least is the realisation that the practice statement will evolve and change and grow as the work does, a natural process of always moving forward.
Practice Statement (10 July 2017)
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 painted composition of bands 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 bands 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 to deliver an experience of emotional resonance and liveliness that is visually compelling yet seeks to be nothing other than, or more than itself.
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.