Colour & Music Links

Self Isolation Studies.

These pages have been lying dormant for a while now, and I am thankfully resurfacing, after some big life events which rightfully have dominated much of my time and energies for the past few years, and I feel finally I am entering a new breathing space for embarking on a fresh phase within my artwork. Strangely,  with the COVID 19 induced self isolation, It seems a pertinent and good time to introduce two films online and make them available for viewing on this website, from which I already have and am producing further artwork from soon. They signify a change both in pace and style from my work thus far.

The first of these films is simply entitled ‘Black and Blue’ and features a ‘Space Painting’ that I did in my studio a few years ago, and an action piece of burning a canvas in the Woodland close to my house and studio. This piece explores the processes of creation versus destruction, resonating with a poem by Wallace Stevens about a painting. Stevens wrote much around the senses and about painting too, even writing a fascinating essay on “The Relations of Poetry and Painting.”

The simple and stark black space, was influenced by two spaces. The first being Wally Hendrick’s war room, a powerful protest piece which, I first came across it at an exhibition at Hauser Wirth many years ago (which I have mentioned previously on these pages), and  Tuol Sleng the most disturbing simple and crude bessablock structure that I experienced whilst visiting Cambodia, it was inside an old school and brutally turned into a prison camp . The place seemed to be an embodiment of man’s cruel capacity for the destruction of humanity.

Bringing the colour blue and my own body into this stark broken space seemed somehow symbolic and reflective, and in part is a hommage to the history of action painting and  in particular Pollock, and to the inspirational work of the Vienna Actionists, the Gutai and of Stuart Brisley, Yves Klein, Carolee Schneemann and Anna Mendieta too, exploring ideas of the nature of painting , destruction and the limits of the body.The poem “The Man With The Blue Guitar” seemed to resonate so well with the resulting images, it being in itself a meditation on the nature of art, performance and the imagination.

Film Still from "Black and Blue"

Black and Blue-Film Still 2019.

"Black and Blue" Film Still 2019.

"Black and Blue" Film Still 2019.

The second piece “Empty House Studies” 2019. also considers the poetry of Wallace Stevens, who has had such an impact on my thinking lately, and the film is more personal and centred around objects and transformation. The poem used in this case is “Asides on an Oboe”. The lines I have placed as titles contain particular resonance with each segment of filming. Each action is also  punctuated by second long compositions of music by long time collaborator Roger Redgate.

Empty House Studies-2019 Film Clip.

"Empty House Studies" 2019 (Film Clip)

The Actions performed as part of the whole piece reflect an overriding sense of loss, and of the daylight passing through my old house (by then falling into a derelict state) each different sequence acting as a visual poem.

The segments are all moments, and mostly important objects and memories in my life, personally significant to me; self revelatory, transformative even. They explore ideas such as fear, isolation, solitude and in particular vulnerability.

These moving Image works, in the words of a perceptive close friend of mine, overcome one of the greatest challenges thus far  in the work, ” The narrative arc of of the synaesthetic action and movement, versus the static final product.”

Strangely, at this time of “Self Isolation” for all peoples, and viewing these works again, these moving image pieces become more focussed and seem to gain an extra relevance to the moment that we currently find ourselves in.

1st April 2020

“Empty House Daylight Studies” 2019.

“Black and Blue” 2019/20

Music Listening.

Portia Winters-Bliss of small things.

Andrea Keller-Transients Vol 2.

Yosi Horikawa-Vietnam

POSTED: 03/26/20 6:19 PM