I am pleased to have been recently invited by curator Clay Paula, of two levels exhibitions to participate in Confluencias, a show of Latin American artists living in Australia, as well as Australian artists who have spent time and worked in Latin America, to be held at the Museum of Freemasonry in Sydney. Details here.
Here is a copy of an artist’s statement I wrote to go with the exhibition.
The opening date is March 15th, and it opens to the public from the 16th. It is going to be an event worth attending as Clay and co-curator Helen Symons have managed to assemble quite an impressive group of artists, not to mention the conceptual premise of the exhibition itself. More about that on my next post.
ABOUT THE WORKS
The works included in this show form part of my ongoing exploration of my own spirituality in terms of painting by focusing on material (materiality, matter) and energy.
These paintings vary from and dialogue with each other in terms of the degree of my conscious involvement with them.
“Untitled” (2009) is probably the purest, most direct of the three. It is a painting created of pure energy and materials. It is simply a collection of a handful of gestures made using a few different media (watercolour, copper dust and acrylic). During its creation I was able to remove my consciousness from the process to a very large degree. I achieved this by being in a state of trance while I worked. The work was painted in one session, maybe an hour or two long, and in the open air. It was painted at a time in which I was experimenting with painting at different locations, using a variety of different media and getting lost in the immediate energy present at the time of painting in order to place a very direct manifestation of energy onto the support – sometimes linen, sometimes paper (linen in this case). It has no title as a result of the totality of its purity.
“Ariadne” (2009-2012) was started during the very same session as “Untitled” and also as a collection of gestures using a free flowing medium, in the form of watercolours, as well as powdered media such as copper dust and pigments, but was only finished at the end of 2012. During the 4 years I worked on this painting I added more and more gestures, some with a great degree of rational detachment, others much more calculated. The more calculated gestures have obviously more of my conscious being in them. The title “Ariadne” refers to the presence of myself – my humanity – in this painting, as opposed to a painting such as “Untitled” which I attribute to forces outside of me. Dionysos is the sexual energy that animates all living things. Ariadne, his mistress, is the archetype of soul, that which makes a living being an individual. In the case of this painting she is what I put of myself into it, both through working while in an irrational, madly sexual trance, as well as the calculated, cool, sessions that I spent painting it. During the last 3 years of the process I worked in egg tempera but mostly in oils on this painting, media which lend themselves less to spontaneity and demands more of the hand of the artist.
The third of my paintings included in this show is titled “The Labyrinth” (2004-2012). In the ancient Greek cult of Dionysos the labyrinth wasn’t so much a place you got lost in but a maze in which if you follow its meandering path you will eventually come to the exit. This is a great metaphor for many of the trials life throws at us. I think it is also a fitting title for a painting which was created over nine years of working in a manner where I let the painting take its own course, knowing that one day, when it was ready, it would come to a state of being complete. It is a painting executed entirely in oil, as opposed to the very varied media of the other two, yet its physicality and materiality is no less apparent and alive.