Colour & Music Links

Performance Painting for One Night Only.

At the moment as I write this I am gearing up for a performance at the Modern Art Oxford, a great art and influential gallery that I have been in many, many times over the years and where I have seen some of my favorite and most informative shows. Particular shows that spring to my mind is the great South African Art show in the 1980’s, a terrific Maria Abramovich show, a magnificent Kounellis show five or so years ago and a wonderful show of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller a couple of years ago too.  I will be painting the whole upper gallery in one night, layering sounds and painting the walls creating a musically fuelled forest of colour. It will be an exhibition, which exists only for the performance. It is for this reason I have titled it “Two Hours Only” and I will be creating with two great composers and improvisers Roger Redgate (with whom I have worked with before) and Emmanuel Lorien Spinelli who works creating sounds from objects. I personally always think of paint as an instrument in itself, so I will be using colour and shapes overlapping one another to create the sounds in my head, mirroring what I hear.

It will be exciting to have such a beautiful vast lofty space in which to create visually and with sounds. I will be using colour on black, whereby the colours resonate and with stretched polyurethane to recreate how I see colours floating within space and with which I can also make sounds myself by using percussively. The audience will become immersed in a sea of gestures,textures and colours.

I have always been fascinated by the work of Sigmar Polke who created huge paintings on the concept of time and also Yves Klein’s work via performance, which have had a great effect on me and continue to inform my work. More recently there have been some exciting performances organised by Sound Fair in Berlin including one which struck me where Arto Lindsay who is also an inspirational figure created sounds in a gallery context in a work called Symphony.

Exploring painting via performance to me is of most importance and it is now I believe a great time to redress the way in which painting can be seen interactively and its fundamental linking in process with sound and music. I recently took part in a performance/conference at the Royal Academy of Music whereby film was played of my working with musicians and then one of the works  was interpreted as a graphic score. Some members of the audience were perturbed by the temporality and ephemeral nature of the performance and the piece of work left at the end. Someone said that I was  “deconstructing the Greenburgian Aesthetic” which I have been thinking about since. In my last performance I decided to destroy a piece after working on it  which drew a collective gasp from the audience, and now for this, the whole work will exist for just the performance. A sort of Exhibition which is created for one night, for one night only.

Painting with it’s sometimes old fashioned connotations is often put in its own static category…. almost as if it acts independently on its own apart from installations, sound art, Conceptual and other sometimes rather unhelpful categorisations. Throughout my career painting and in particular Abstract painting has often almost been seen as… almost sometimes a bit behind the times and static . It is where painting becomes interactively one and the same, crossing all defined boundaries where it continues to and will always interest me. The performance will I hope… as my recent work is doing is attempting to reveal the temporal qualities of painting and the capturing of time in sound and music.

Performance at Modern Art Oxford

POSTED: 09/8/11 3:18 PM