Friday, August 31, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mapping the emotive, evocative and accidental

On occasions I have, over the past few years, written about my work or in connection with my work, but I do feel the artist doesn't really control the meaning of their work. People bring to bear their own experience while viewing or living with an art work.
In saying that, I do believe it is easier to talk about your work and interpret it when there exists a considerable gap of time between you and the work created. And I also believe that the artist does have control over their output, and what they choose put out into the world during their lifetime.

The work I have begun to create here in the Burren this year is concerned with 'place'.
I am painting in series, so as to investigate the idea of place, and what that might mean to me.
One of the reasons for this investigation and exploration of 'place' is quite biographical, as I have lived somewhat of a nomadic artists life over the years and have never 'settled down'. Even with my wife by my side we are still to find a 'permanant place' to 'settle'.
I have spent over four years now working out in the west of Ireland, and before this spent a lot of time in Thailand, travelling light and spending extended periods of time in the one place, usually in quite remote areas. Perhaps a bit of a loner's existence, but it offered me the chance to draw, paint, develop my art and get to explore Ireland and many other countries over extended periods.

In my early expressive figure in landscape pieces, the motif was always this lone being surrounded by the vastness of landscape, or captured somewhat, in a smaller dimensional or architectural space.
Working in rural locations has always spurred bouts of great artistic creativity for me.
With these current paintings I am creating a map, or mapping out my experience. There are many different ways to create a map, and I am in a way, intimately documenting my findings here over time. I do feel it is important for the artist to know his subject intimately.
That is what this series of paintings might convey, my experience, the surrounding nature, a shelter and the absence of people.

Perhaps the shelters, houses, walls, cottages and barns that feature in my current work are an extension of 'the being' in my earlier work? A humans print or thumb mark on the landscape? These empty places, spaces and ruins that interest me are also part of a vanishing history in the Irish landscape, quietly saying, 'I was here'. It's this feeling of a scarcely populated space, with only clues or impressions of the people who may have been there over the years that drives me ahead, searching for meaning.

Looking forward to sharing this work with you over the coming months.