Memory Work - Statement

I began by drawing together two philosophical concerns: interconnectedness - what we are is physically and historically interwoven with what has gone before - and Zen principles of ‘living in the moment’. My work concentrated on the factual existence of PAINT – the tactile quality of varied many-layered surfaces overlapping.

Over a personally turbulent time, involving change and loss, I found my work more and more influenced by the power of memory: we are forever being pulled back into the depths of our memory; time is sacrificed to retracing remembered sensations and emotions, to seeking meanings which may inform the future but actually squander the present.

The result has been, firstly, a lacquered surface over depths of swirling imagery – playful hints of things known or remembered - and then a rough, tactile surface, ridges of paint or powder pigment which stains the finger of the curious viewer. The viewer may stand before the painting trawling the shiny luxurious depths only to be dragged back to the surface by the ‘in your face’ physical paint. Memory is bitter-sweet; we enjoy recalling happy moments - and my work contains hidden hints of such moments - but in remembering, we remind ourselves of what has gone. The thicker tactile layers and the Haiku verse serve to warn us not to dwell in the past lest we squander the present.

Increasingly, I have been using Haiku verse - a succinct form of verse using only seventeen syllables - to complete the condensed thoughts and sensations of the moments portrayed in my work.

When working on 'Reflections On Loss', 'Down At The Bottom Of the Deep Blue Sea' and 'Minds Eye' I was using my work as a means of sorting out my memories of my late sister: I was fearful of losing those memories, and was slowly realising the enormity of my loss. At the same time I was aware of dwelling in the past and so squandering the present opportunities to enjoy my living friends and family. Loss, of course, is very subjective and so provides a rich seam for the artist to plunder, and I have plans for more work on this subject.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I would be genuinly interested to know what you think of my work. You can e-mail me or just leave a message in the guestbook. Your e-mail address will not be visible to others if the comment is posted in the Guestbook.