Man’s own creative powers can be seen as a version (or re-version) of that impulse expressed in the first act of creation and as that act was one of dissection/severance, ‘and He separated light from darkness’ Genesis 1’. In effect from the ONE issued the many, I believe it behoves the resulting parts (namely ourselves) to make our creative act one of reintegration. To make the disparate parts into a cohesive whole by reconciling the opposites, – intellect and intuition, head and heart, an alchemist’s marriage of male and female. With this unification I attempt to create an indivisible wholeness with contrasting elements (a kind of complex yang and yin) dark/light, curvilinear/rectilinear, cold/hot etc. When this principle is reflected in the work one hopes for an enlightening result on both the artist and the viewer by going someway, however little, towards reintegrating the psyche.
The underlying structure to my paintings, incorporate a synthesis of divine proportions, intervals that resonate, magic squares, labyrinths, spirals, talismans and esoteric symbolism. Despite all these elements the paintings do not appear formulaic, because intuition has a leading role in the decision-making process, also, each work only ‘more or less’ achieves its goal, in that it lies somewhere between – the intended but unexpressed and the unintentionally expressed. The results are never static, whenever I approach equipoise in balance; I tip the scales in order to precipitate motion and rhythm.
While I struggle with my compositions it can feel like my thought processes are attempting to perform the mental equivalent of numerous tumbling somersaults, twists, cartwheels and back flips. Trying to comprehend the incomprehensible is one of the most worthwhile pursuits – an activity that artists have in common with physicists and mathematicians.
The role that the subject matter or content plays in my work can vary from painting to painting, on occasion the symbolic pieces can reference unspoken and complex narratives concealed behind outer layers, at other times the only purpose the subject has is a catalyst to hang the colours and shapes on, and therefore the painting could just as easily be a bowl of fruit or abstract. As with a piece of fruit it serves one function when on display exuding its colour shape and texture, but then when we come to devour it, the qualities of smell and taste come into play, The symbolism offers the equivalent of these additional senses. The end result can be analogous to the fan of a striptease artist in that it part reveals and part conceals its secrets.
I like my imagery to work by implication, by suggestion, by hinting, to ‘imbue’. I wish to portray the human condition and seemingly simple, intimate, domestic life, like Vermeer, Degas and Bonnard, or possibly with just a hint of mystery like Hopper and Hammershoi. It only requires an almost imperceptible shift for the ordinary and mundane to become magical. I like the things that are slightly out of kilter as in a film by Tarkovsky. For me painting reached its zenith at the early part of the twentieth Century in Paris, in order to move forward, we must be willing to go back, to pick up the baton. I have a long way to go, yet it’s no distance at all.