When I find myself in front of a canvas I know of the artists that came before me and I wonder about the ones who will follow. As an individual I stand in the present time, whereas human culture persists through time.
Drawing is the first thing we do when given a crayon and is the most natural way to formulate and communicate intention without being physically present. All language comes from latent images in thought. As culture evolves so does language, as new concepts require a means to describe ontological reality. Computer coding now has compressed this process and mediates our entire existence. In code there is no distinction between abstraction and representation. This makes me muse of a time before language categorized knowledge, when art, science and philosophy were one and the same. Computer technology is gradually eroding the lines between disciplines. Where meaning is transmitted without words, creativity has no boundaries and all knowledge is accessible.
The Windows in the Water is a selection of paintings of a river. I see this river from my past as a thread woven in the fabric of my life experience. It flowed through the town where I was born. I watched it move through the seasons from the bridge on my way to school. In the winter it disappeared solid under the cover of snow and in early spring, menacing chunks of ice plummeted over the power dam. As the river passed through my town, it was at places shallow as a brook while at other times it appeared wide and dark. In the deeper parts by the shore I remember the long aquatic plants floating horizontally, registering every movement and wave. Together with the reflection of the sky they evoked a myriad of sensations and events like those that come into play in any instant of life.
These paintings are configurations of lines over a complimentary coloured ground. On the surface of the canvas I rendered currents, small circular swirls that resemble whirlpools along with other shapes that describe more expansive movement. Small interlocking strokes of paint express the parallels of divergent currents as they move in contrasting flow. In this respect, my technique provides me with infinite discretion in colour manipulation as well containing meaning. My work is about metaphors. It is ontological in this time where human perception is being encoded to be observed in parallel to what appears to be the concrete world. The river is no more than a template attesting my physical experience. Inner and outer consciousness can be shared in a tangible world through painting.
In light of the communication of knowledge through networked codes and a new found proximity of continents, I began to wonder about the existence of meaning in reality and what it has become. This binary existence, part virtual, part material has made us individually stretched beyond the real. Because of it our culture is better versed in form than in the past. The vocabulary of abstraction and figuration run together.
I am fascinated by nature and science because they merge in human perception. We have experienced, tested, invented and conceived so many things that we now dream of creating an intelligence with an ontology because we wish to understand how our mind sees and understands. I often think about fractals, and when they were first rendered, but fractals existed before they could be seen. They were theoretical functions that could place and relate all shapes possible in an algorithm. In the natural world this relationship developed over time partly due to self-simulation, a kind of repetition of shapes in plants and animals and in us as well. In the late 1970s, the mathematician, Benoît Mandelbrot programmed an algorithm for fractals into a computer. The output plotted images that resembled colourful organic spirals unfurling infinitely, the sum of all possible shapes and an explanation perhaps, as to why we see recognizable shapes in clouds or similarities in different plants, people and other life forms.
acrylic on canvas
160 X 200 cm