Empty Full

Exhibition at Santa Fe Collective, April 2016

Artist Statement

This exhibition consists of panel paintings and works on paper. The paintings are clay and acrylic paint on multiple panels. This format enables me to add, remove, change and turn the panels as I build the painting, literally and figuratively. This method also serves a practical purpose, allowing me to keep a progression going even as the work’s development is intermittently interrupted and then revived. 

In the past two years my relationship to my studio process has become more intuitive. I work with a faith that the material will guide me and help me build the painting. I work with clay paint because it is a natural and non-toxic product, has a matte buttery finish, and is affordable. It has a subtle luminous quality even in it’s dense earthiness. I trust it, and understand it’s functional physicality - it hides and resists, and layers and accepts, as a ground more naturally and solidly than paint. 

I work with elemental and honed images: drawn outlines of squares and blocks sink into the clay and call for more layers until the right final drawing is accepted. The repeated images become a group, or cluster, as the panels are assembled and the painting comes together. These are groups of basic elements and quantities, humble monuments to continuity, standing together resolutely. They have a right to be there, things are fair. What I am looking for is not refinement, but a felt sense of rawness and informality - and sometimes mischief. I want to represent things barely visible or valued, but completely present and essential.

While the panel paintings are arrived at through a gradual process of reduction and 

sublimation, the small works on paper are quick and certain. They are comprised of acrylic paint on cut-up paper pasted onto museum board. These little paintings enable me to work out ideas of color and composition for larger works, but they are most useful to me in their allowance for chance and play - two elements that are imperative in my work. These are the happy cousins of the panel pieces. The larger paintings, with their multiple panels and built up clay surfaces, are measured against the rudimentary directness and delight of these pieces. 

“Poetry can repair no loss, but it defies the space which separates… by it’s continual labour of reassembling what has been scattered.” 

                                                John Berger