12 February 2007

Something about what I'm doing

I am currently exploring how meaning can be codified visually by combining abstract symbols with figurative representation. In The world, there are three overlapping picture planes: on one is a Gnostic symbol for the world, on another stick figures spelling out a Latin phrase in semaphore, and on the third a stylised representation of a house on the edge of a volcanic island that functions as a visual metaphor for the ideas encapsulated in the symbols. I am working under a definition of art as symbolic thought expressed materially in a self-conscious and highly associative way – something happens in the mind of the viewer.

A representation of an object can be related to other elements in a picture through purely formal means: its size, its placement, and its treatment relative to other elements. Much of my work deals with the interaction of positive and negative space, figure and ground, and painting and drawing. I try to place my work in the interzone between these poles. In Hide and seek, a figure clutching a knife lies in wait behind a vertical pencil line that divides the pictorial space. As well as depicting that interzone, this work alludes to the sometimes antagonistic relationship between artist and viewer.

I see pictorial space as giving the viewer access to an alternate world in which they have ultimate freedom to act. My current work is concerned with using these methods to present a philosophical system that I call ‘common-sense nihilism’. I have been doing a series of self-portraits in which I take on a variety of guises and identities. Self-portrait as magic bishop is not just an homage to the Dada performers of the Cabaret Voltaire, it also depicts one strategy for surviving in a hostile and contingent, not to mention pointless and absurd, universe – armouring yourself in a carapace you have made.

No comments:

visitors since 29 March 2004.