‘Paying attention to ordinary Life’
Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo, Ireland.
4th May 2016 5pm - 7pm
My work, through different forms over the past twenty years, has always been made with a spirit of surrender and enquiry.
There have been no short cuts, and every mark leads onto the next. Work continues to evolve in an unpredictable fashion, due in part, to my natural response and observations to a changing environment. I have an unquenchable interest in the unnoticed, ordinary things and conversations of everyday, and what constitutes our awareness of place and identity. Effectively, my surroundings are my raw material.
Recent works on paper rely on a kind of surrender that would take precedent over any pre-planned approach. I would tend to work on many pieces at any given time; some are built up slowly, while others have the appearance of having being achieved in a single session. These works on paper in particular, begin in a random, haphazard fashion. They start as an unorganized gathering of everyday materials, ranging from passport pages, shredded works, old grocery lists, Mass collection envelopes, OS maps, till rolls, house plans, prayers, net curtains, tax disks, handwritten notes (similar to a personal diary) and recently the introduction of an old typewriter, typing directly onto the work. This assembly offers countless directions. The work does not reveal itself immediately, I would encourage viewers to examine it, read the texts, become involved and take time. While I would hope that there is an optimism in the work, there is restlessness as a result of going forwards and backwards, and this momentum helps develop my practice. The canvas work is more structured in the beginning and given the opportunity, opens up to accidents and mistakes, embracing ambiguity. These elements inform me as a painter and allow me to celebrate the most ordinary things.
The Till Roll Work is an extension of the works on paper. They are documents of everyday activity and invite examination. These works begin when the viewer becomes involved and this is the dialogue that connects The Till Roll to the works on paper. I would hope that this helps create a sense of identity and acknowledges the ordinary, everyday things that are part of the fabric of any day. The Core Sample works are similar to geological cuttings, they are records of the surfaces we walk on, and the ordinary \ extraordinary thoughts that we all have on a daily basis.
My practice is to continue investigating the ordinariness and the complexities of everyday life, examining where we are and how we all are affected by the events that map our direction. Some of these works would be influenced by events in my own life, i.e. my family, the death of my Father, overheard conversations and subtle collaborations. These are situations experienced by all and to quote Jasper Johns ‘I am just paying attention to ordinary life’. In essence, this is a celebration and examination of place and identity.
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