Elements of Truth


Preface to Truth

You say you recognise elements.

But not these.

Bits of text lie ripped up as I create new truths.

To help you understand, I present,

guide you through the threshold,

the outer darkness, the inner light

here only as your guide.

But you pull away from me, let go my hand,

you who have lived your life, your narrative.

Write your own life.

I will write mine.

Element 1

Walking through my practice, “you are here” changes, the horizon shifting as the artist disappears. I start by finding myself behind the poems in the forest and turn left past photography, picking up gifts from dead things into paint, wondering about depth soundings, the stuff we keep and the stuff we give away, and where to put it all today.

Element 2

A postcard of Vermeer’s painting, Woman Holding a Balance 1662-65, bought on a visit to the Rijksmuseum, sits unframed in my bathroom. I remember that visit to the Rijksmuseum and seeing the painting for the first time. I keep that feeling close when I look at the postcard. The beauty in this image of the painting never fails to comfort me. Vermeer’s skill as a painter, an observer of life, highlighting balance. Vermeer seems to have taken the composition and refined it. Pieter de Hooch’s painting Interior with a Woman weighing Gold Coin 1659-62, is subjectively much more intimate, more visceral and the focus, whilst depicting “balance” as a concept, is in essence, interior light, darkness, colour. This has been significant to my practice. Balance for me is a struggle, a personal battle between light and dark. After Pieter is a collection of paintings which explore this through paint.

Element 3

Change ceaselessly alters the world. It is an integral part of the method of enquiry, central to the experienced sensation of making art. Change is the recurrent driver within my work. The inbetweenness, the threshold of light and dark, an irresistible constant characterised by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy.  The period of transition, where normal limits of thought, self-understanding and behaviour are relaxed, may lead to new perspectives.

Awareness of existing parallels between language and art underlines similarities and marked differences in my practice, with poetry as the primary corner stone of my artistic vision.  Tension has always existed on a subjective level between the clumsiness of language, the mechanics of photography and the embrace of painting  Amalgamating all within my practice is an effective way for me to explore the misunderstood, the chimerical, the illusory. This nexus allows communication of ideas of the remembered and unremembered. The indefinite life, posed in art, allows me an understanding of life as carried by events, and by the singularities actualized in subject/objects. Art offers me the immensity of a temporality, constituting spaces where I am able to see the event to come in the absolute of an immediate consciousness.

Currently my work explores this interrelation between mediums within a landscape of personal and collective narrative. Ethereal phenomena and ideas are traversed, fusing sculpture, photography, word play, painting and more recently, video.  I intersperse abstraction with reflective analytical thoughts, using my own voice to discuss these issues. Vocalisations are used as language (sense and non-sense) and also as anti-language (dada, pataphysics). Utilising the proximity of voice and image to construct a changed dialogue, I search for a larger definition of communication within the abstract structures I make.

Element 4

Travelling at 186,000 miles per second, it is hard to contemplate what light means or can be. Despite our fascination with it, none of us can actually say what it is. However, we do know what it does and what its effects are.[1] We understand light as a way in which energy is transmitted from one place to another; the forces of magnetism and electricity propagating their influences from place to place in the Universe at a finite speed[2]. Imaginary fields, colour and the speed of light are relevant to my current thinking where I explore this gap in knowledge via personal and collective memory. I have attempted to distil these ideas to reach some form of understanding.

The collection of light is approached as a positive encounter and not a removing of light from the world. I understand it to be quasi scientific, collecting light for examination with the hope that understanding can be gained into my own processes as an artist and also that of others. This has been researched using photography, sound, poetry[3] and narrative which has been shared, and reassembled.

Time, memory and loss, threads running though previous work have been developed with further emphasis on light as opposed to darkness. In sharing the same narrative with others, individuals chose words which they highlighted within the same text. With these edited distilled words, new individual narratives were created. Words in which light shone on for each person were always different, allowing me to conclude that whilst the speed of light is a constant, there are elements beyond our knowledge whilst presently hypothetical could potentially account for the speed of the imagination and thought.

Element 5

Moment, close, balance,

Free, intimate, essence,

Father, hand, smiled,

Absence, trust, comfort,

Foundations, live, sensed,

Help, understand, kind,

Irish, remains, door,

Side, window, strong,

Inside, imagine, form,

Change, answer, built,

Sense, remembered, centre,

Daughter, morning, light,

Sea, blind, island,

Lost, hear, eye,

Choosing, moments, believe,

Warm, pull, look,

Moment, shadow, rest,

Worth, time, justice,

Changed, enquiry, constant,

Transition, liminal, structures,

Explore, ethereal, reflective,

Sound, sensation, embrace,

Parallels, vision, engage,

Approach, defiance, done.