2.03 - Deliverance

My Ghost – Introduction

 

The series My Ghost incorporates work from a two-year period, culminating in 70 encaustic paintings produced between March and July 2013.

The series developed out of a period of intense self-reflection, in which I used large mirrors to draw my reflected image within the environment of my studio.

 

The formative stages of this exercise began as a meditative experience that enabled me to reconnect to my surroundings after a period of absence.

Although I was aware of the longstanding tradition of artists producing self-portraiture at midlife or transitory stages of their careers, my intention was to simply use my own image as a model to describe the exchange of energy from one bodily state to another.

I have long pictured the artist as a primal entity, formed from the same elemental junk which she or he manipulates.

The artist's body rises from a mass of volatile matter, performing transformative tasks upon the environment, activating dead stuff with the living force of the gaze.

I perceive the artist's reach beyond the body as a gesture loaded with both hope and futility, each illuminating the source of the other.

The inevitable decay of all that surrounds me is somehow denied through the act of creation, yet it is at this moment that I finally acknowledge my complete connection to materiality.

This release of spirit through connection to earth is a subject that has long been present in my work. To touch something physically, and be touched back emotionally, is all that I have known. In many early works I have imagined this connection between the artist and the artwork as a transmigratory passage. Thought is formed within the body of the artist and directed outwards with hope and longing towards the distant shores of the picture plane. It returns with new information from that foreign land, so that renewed inspiration is gained by the artist, who is then able to repeat the process. 

I have used many subjects, symbolic forms and allegories to describe various ways of understanding the creative process. Although the series My Ghost is a direct development of many previous ideas, the fact that the imagery was initially 'drawn from life' reversed the procedure in which I usually operate. Rather than externalising my imagination, I treated my external environment as a fictive space that might be absorbed into my imagination. Banal elements within my environment could perhaps assume a mythic presence in my mind through quiet observation. 

All the information in these pictures was sourced through a direct engagement with my environment without any other contextual intervention. My only two considerations at the time of making were: What leaves me? What comes back? My efforts were directed towards a description of reaching beyond myself within a locality I might otherwise take for granted.

Throughout the mundane manipulation of materials and stolen glances, I hoped for some type of unholy transfiguration to take place.

 

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1. My Ghost > Introduction

2. My Ghost > Foundation Work

3. My Ghost > Encaustic Paintings