Information for publicity/labelling purposes – About the Work

Body & Mind

Physical embodiment is the theme of this series of paintings, which has involved analytically researching being: finding new things and overlappings, and correlating the self to an extended self. Robert Pepperell’s idea that the body thinks (1995) has been greatly influential. Pepperell outlines how critical reflection seeks to understand consciousness as a component of one part of the body (the mind). And yet, consciousness courses throughout the body and is expressed instinctively by the hands, the face, the feet, and the skills learned and stored therein.
The implication is not simply in terms of the eye’s stimulation and the brain’s response that other interpretive models put forward, (formalism, for instance), but as thinking in painting, where ideas arise while painting, as a mental and a physical activity. It therefore seems natural to use the body in paintings and drawings as enigmatic embodiments of mind-body problems, reflecting my interest in the figure and in perception as being not merely skin deep.
The approach I have taken in this series represents a move away from aggressive brushwork, toward a thinner surface with scumbled-on areas of colour that seem to lay ‘below’ more thickly applied brushwork. Using this process, the surface is treated with rabbit glue size for greater ‘tooth’; a primer that permits graphite drawing on the surface to be part of the composition. Painting, then, takes place in layers, until the subject begins to emerge out of a tangled mass of drawings.
Generally, at present, paintings are about relationships and closeness, they are not psychologically
distant objects as Picasso’s are. (De Kooning, cited in Sylvester 1994: 30) Instead, they are
crystallizations of the experience and the amazement of body and mind in relation to significant others.
I find it important to maintain an objective element, while still slightly obscure of the figurative
Because it is the best way I think of to convey my fascination with physicality with real things and their connection to mind. For me, the body represents being.

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