A Shadow in the Late Sun Collection
Painting and Photography seem to me to be naturally linked together. They also have a strong historical correlation in the arts. I have been an exhibiting artist for over twenty years now and constantly flow between the two mediums. Yet the experience of working in the two realms is quite separate and constitutes both similar and different thought processes.
The two and sometimes three dimensional imagery that Photography and Painting espouse, have been in the crossfire for many intellectualised debates. Yet both still offer perhaps the most intrigue and fascination witnessed by the popularity of major exhibitions throughout Australia and internationally.
When analysing my own methods and reasoning, I have questioned the tangible nature of what is actually present in a visual image i.e. I take a photograph by the click of a button and what seems so simple can relay a wide variety of meanings, juxtapositions and interpretations.
I paint a picture and the same thing happens only there is a greater length of time involved. This essential state of slowing down of time is absolutely necessary to allow the subconscious to surface. Painting is a traditionally slow method of transcribing images and therefore creates an opportunity of transference of the emotive and spiritual into a visual arena.
In taking photographs for a series, I like to consider what it is that mostly attracts my attention toward the subject. I may analyse this more after the event has occurred and then when possible try to capture more shots of the same subject or try to capture the same experience in other similar locations or subject matter. For instance, in the body of photographs for the French series, I felt a certain sense of mystery and feeling about the place. It is this sort of intangible and intuitive aspect that attracted me to the subject. There is a desire to capture perhaps something that is not really in the picture and this becomes reinforced in my paintings if the images and ideas flow on into a series of works.
I became conscious of the sense of history that exists in the medieval villages of France. The village of St Cirq Lapopie which is situated on the Lot River in the South West of France became a jewel for my investigation of corners and crevices.
My exhibition at The Alliance Francaise in Sydney was very successful and I was very pleased to have then exhibited the photographic series in Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland.
Terrence Maloon, Sydney art critic and curator said at the opening night in Sydney, that "the images would haunt the French and those who know the country, drawing them back to look at the images more than once." And Andre Breton was to have said that this little part of the world was likened to some of Rimbauds's illuminations. The paintings in this exhibition are the result of making, editing and spending many hours with the photographs and memories of encounters. They are the tangible essence of my real, imagined and perceived experience and the alchemical mixture of medieval dust, pigment, oil and mystery. Whereas the photographic images capture a sort of time warp, the paintings are more to do with the essence of the minds' eye.