2.03 - Deliverance

My Ghost 2012 - Foundation Work

 

In 2012 I completed the enormous task of cataloguing all my previous work into this online archive. I had not looked back in the 20 years leading up to this process, and when it was done I re-entered my studio with an unburdened mind. Instinctively, I felt the need to re-establish myself physically in my own space.

 

Periodically, I have made direct observations from life without the need to exhibit them. These occasions involve drawing my environment as a type of meditation, through which I make connection to my surroundings without contrivance or imposition.

So having reviewed my back story and emptied my mind, I spent 2012 producing large drawings and paintings of my own reflection in real scale, surrounded by my studio and the pictures, tools and materials it encompasses.

 

At this formative stage, I had no intention of making 'art' as such; I was simply engaged in a grand exercise that might enlighten my sense of place in space. The project was purely personal, for my own education. Some of the works were very large, sometimes up to 3 metres tall. In many cases, I depicted the form of my body in the actual scale that it appeared reflected in the mirror, so as to locate myself physically at a specific depth within the surface of the picture. Many works remained sketchy or unfinished, yet the long periods of quiet observation informed the many small resolved works that were to come in 2013.

Images documented my own reach, towards the canvas, in an attempt to describe myself, describing myself, describing myself ...

 

Although the paintings and drawings were based on direct observation, I treated the self-reflective nature of my inquiry as if it were a hermetic science. The exchange of communicative energy between my outward gaze and that of my reflected image became a 'circuit' that addressed, and seemed to transcend, the barrier of the picture plane. This dialogue between an artist and a body of work is a concept that I have previously explored in works such as Transmigratory Passage of the Death Wish. 

I produced a series of oil paintings that were eventually assembled in a screen. The broken format of the screen was appropriate in conveying the fractured set of perimeters I was dealing with, when observing various framing devices. The edges of mirrors and the edges of reflected paintings seemed to become permeable barriers, through which my reach extended. Multiple viewpoints of my self-reflected gaze seemed to fill the space around me with solid air.

 

I struggled with these pictures to describe the form of my body in multiple mirrors, so that my reflections appeared as separate apparitions, each one emerging and detaching from the other. As the large works multiplied, figures in previous paintings were depicted again in the background of new works, as if I were populating my environment with multiple 'familiar spirits' to accompany me in the lonely state of self-reflection. I positioned these smaller figures at specific points around me, to seem as if they were emanating from my head like imps or hanging from my arm like puppets. 


 

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1. My Ghost > Introduction

2. My Ghost > Foundation Work

3. My Ghost > Encaustic Paintings