Memory Ambushed: The Ambiguity of Feeling is a body of work which aims to communicate amongst strangers – the artist and the viewers – through the shared experience of familiar feelings. Our lives are made up of disparate, individual events yet we are bound by shared emotions. In the community of strangers we often find ourselves living in, I aim to establish a connection with others through the human capacity to express emotion.
I regard these compositions as psychological landscapes that may evoke past remembrances or an undefined sense of the familiar or a new, yet somehow appealing, expression. I work hard at developing a visually rich surface, using image fragments plucked from time’s continuum, reinvented to suggest the possibilities of a new narrative.
In The Window the title refers to any of the window-like openings in the composition and figuratively encourages the viewer to look beyond the surface for an opening, a release valve, another way, in any situation.
Various statements about impermanency are made in History Shows. The composition consists of: a plastic six-pack holder and bubble wrap that have become decorative elements, disposable items which are not in fact impermanent; little marks like rusty filings, pencil markings, human scratchings, signs of human activity; a spiral, metaphor for time; an architectural form, human striving; pumpkin stem, it’s a fist, ionic column, phallus, tree, bone.
I reference both the built, urban environment and the landscape around me. When creating Sacks of Yesterdays I began by working with familiar landscape images, in this case, of trees, underbrush and vegetation from around where I live. I extricated from these images the formal qualities I needed for my composition – a crooked branch became a drawn line, a patch of sky a colour field. Out of the layering of branches, root tangles, boulders and scribbles began to emerge figurative markings with emotive associations. Twigs scrape out an undeciphered babble; bulbous and knotted shapes become the embodiment of feeling. Amorphous forms hover in a luminous, fragile space; others lay down a psychological tattoo.
The smallest unit of life is a cell, the building block of all living things. Each cell contains the cell genome, or DNA, which stores information. In reproduction, DNA is replicated and passed on to offspring so linking generations: each subsequent generation carries the DNA of its forebears.
My digital paintings are the offspring of my photography. I capture the world in digital photographs and scanned objects to record images in pixels. Each pixel is a capsule of information analogous to a cell containing DNA. I used these cells of information to make paintings, digitally recombining pixels from a myriad of images to create something new.
I print the digital composition onto a physical substrate bringing forth the virtual painting into the material world. My practice involves the convergence of three art forms: photography, painting and printmaking.
2011 The Interior Sea and Memory Ambushed, Unitarian Church, Vancouver
2009 Memory Ambushed, Plaskett Gallery, New Westminster