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Savage and Tender exhibition

27 Dec 2013:


My practice explores the themes of sleep, dreams and memories from the perspective of visual perception. I am interested in the pictures we create in our heads, especially those vivid images that are seared into our minds and are associated with the most intense emotional experience. These are personal to each individual and my own ‘visions’ form the base layer of my complex, mixed media works on canvas, linen and board.

The creation of my work incorporates painting, autographic drawing, the digital manipulation of photographs and drawings and printing techniques. Abstraction, the search for the essential, forms a key part of these processes. It is not only fundamental to my work as an artist but also to the function of the visual brain, which makes sense of our complex visual environment in milliseconds, largely in our sub-conscious. I superimpose this imagery so that a visual puzzle is created through which glimpses of illusory landscapes can be seen, combining the surreal with a more sinister reality. The sinuous pattern of wood grain, printed by lithography onto Japanese paper of varying transparencies, applied to the painted surface acts as a unifying theme and ‘locks’ the visual memories in place.

I always intended that this work would be set within a natural landscape. When I came across the story of Ascalaphus, the custodian of the orchard in Hades who was turned into an owl by an angry Demeter, it caught my imagination and inspired some of the imagery. I hope Burns would have approved of my homage to the owl, a guardian of the underworld and for Burns the “sad bird of night”. To see the image, please click here.

Last updated: 12.56 PM on 29 Mar 2016

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