"Neath" (2020, 1/1) is a moving image, single stream work exhibited as part of "Sounds Woo" solo exhibition at Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch. The vision, content, execution and technical resolution was a collaboration between myself and Lyttelton based artist Emma Wallbanks. To be fair, Emma who specialises in film and projection, was the primary aesthete and technical genius of the work. I asked Emma to create with me a moving image work that would describe the emotions and underlying themes or underneaths of my painting practice... and importantly be an artwork in its own right. Moving image and layered projection of images seemed a fitting medium to capture my time based painting process where layers of oil paint are poured and composed by my hands; and where paint is allowed to merge over time. The intention of portraying 'artists' hands was to bring an element of reality to the abstract painting both in the film work itself and in Neath's presence amongst an exhibition of large scale oil paintings. The play between figuration/ representation and abstraction has long been a concern of my practice. All my work including the installation of a body of paintings is an expression of the real and the unseen aspects of life (memory, belief systems, objectifcation, materialism) of chaos vs order, of the intersection between life and art.
It was a wonderful experience to work with an artist who is resolute in regard to aesthetic and authentic details; yet energetic and impulsive when it came to take advantages of mood, weather and moments together. I would share an idea such as kundalini mudras or showering and Emma would grab at the light and shadows, the textures, gestures, atmospheres and alternative shooting perspectives. Jumping up on kitchen counters, kneeling beside paintings on the studio floor and kitchen benches, capturing orange light against shower faucets are just some of the initiatives that brought unique and haunting images. I am always washing my hands, everyday painting and cleaning up, physically moving works in stages of pouring and overpainting and layering. The joy, the anxiety, the distraction, reflection, contemplation and depth of my artistic day/ life has been expressed beautifully in this one off endearing 15 minute film work.
Neath was installed within a wall at the gallery. Its a small scale work approx 450 x 450 mm in a sqaure format, the screen plays a loop silently alongside large paintings. Install images to come.