Exhibiting six carefully selected paintings from the past 10 years and a large newly commissioned piece made specifically for the site – an old naval storehouse as part of the Gunwharf Quays area of Portsmouth.
The commissioned piece was an illuminated sphere, 180cm in diameter. Painted with oil paint in situ before the start of the exhibition. The gallery remained open during this period and many visitors witnessed the making of the work. The painting practice was also documented and filmed by Aspex.
FIELD OF KNOWLEDGE
The field of knowledge was two fold.
-The possibilities and processes in contemporary painting
-The evocative power of the imagination to ‘see into’ the marked and shaped painted surface.
The work synthesizes a cool process based approach to the making of a painting with a more romantic notion of the sublime in nature.
From Richard Wolheim’s notion of ‘seeing-in’ to the recent lecture and research conducted by Katy Siegel on the incommensurability of painting – the work teases out the potential and problems of surface and illusion, matter and image.
The works displayed map the various approaches in my practice over the previous 10 years. In the first instance employing a simple and repetitive gesture that accumulates across the picture plane, to the more recent work that pull on a broad but idiosyncratic language that has multiplied empirically over the last decade.
The work extends the possibilities of process painting’s minimal and perfunctory mode. The work foregrounds the idea of gesture as a more scientific and learnt practice and denounces heroism in favour of empiricism.
Through countless tests and trials, the vocabulary of the paintings is built up through physical rhythm as much as by visual scrutiny. The marks and combinations of marks are committed to muscle memory in a similar way a drummer may learn the basic rudiments for drumming instruction. A short film was made of the making of the large commissioned globe painting and this was shown in the foyer area of the gallery, so the methodology of working was shared with the visitors.
An open public discussion took place in the gallery during the exhibition with Bergit Arends (Curator of Contemporary Art at the Natural History Museum, London) and myself. 27th February 2010 at 2pm. The discussion included both technical and conceptual ramifications of the imagery created, and the works evolution over the previous decade.
The large site specific work, was later shown in a solo exhibition at The Page Gallery in Seoul, S. Korea and sold to the SEAH collection who continue to exhibit the work. Other works in the show have later been exhibited at Morgen Contemporary in Berlin (2011), and Danese in New York (2012).