Works consisting of charcoal, acrylic, graphite and wax
The Butterfly Effect
Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life. (Pythagoras)
I draw a great deal as an expression of my thoughts, feeling, expressions and fears. The surfaces used are a reflection of this and can be as fragile as water mi-teintes or more substantial as printmaking and watercolour paper. This selection of drawings is influenced by a Ballet Kelowna performance of the Butterfly Effect and the choreography of Vancouver’s Joe Laughlin.
The present day association of black is read as mortality and death in juxtaposition to ancient times where black was associated with the earth, fertility and life. These aggressive mark makings create tension reminiscent of the shadows or ghosts of ourselves, or of what once was. Translucent movements created with earthbound charcoal produced ephemeral glances, ghostly figures and shapes. These lines embody the spontaneity, energy and rhythm of dance and life itself. There are secrets held close and each movement carries unseen whispers of life that influence the next. These marks may be interpreted as ink blots, but is this what another sees?
We do not live in isolation. Like butterflies, we are also herding entities and moving together, territorial and protective yet craving companionship and acceptance. We are all on the same journey, in the same dance, choreographed by unseen powers. A mass of people coming together, crowds and then the lone fluttering of a body. Clashes, tensions and vulnerability pervade our social world as every day we are moving towards our death. The audience is on my journey too and to keep moving forward all we can do is dance.
Like Agnes Martin’s work, these pieces are records of being, reflecting only a fraction of time and movement in space. Socially, globally we are on a path of self-destruction. The internet encourages distance: we kill at a distance, we live at a distance, some of us even love at a distance. Our sense of community and what is community is compromised. Stories abound of animals dying, bees dying, our world is dying and we are dancing with death every day but still we move forward – it is our nature.
My intentions are to evoke the tension between the seen and the unseen, to encourage the viewer to create their own story of the works as they move through space. It becomes a case of unfolding, just as Joseph Campbell states in The Hero’s Journey, “The Shadow can represent our darkest desires, our untapped resources” these works explore the tension in the space between figure and abstract, the conscious and the unconscious, the space between life and death, between light and dark.
I agree with Joseph Beuys and his belief that the absoluteness of truth and integrity is required in art; that, “it is necessary to perceive the most essential of that which is reality in the present; because if we do not … (it) will no longer have reality of inner life.” My work is spontaneous, reactionary and I do not use an eraser believing that, as in life, every mark made is valid. Painters such as Inka Essenhigh have a process is similar to mine and there is a subtle reference to Rothko’s black paintings. I agree with Rothko’s statement that art “… is a kindred form of action to idealism … and that it is form of social action.”
As the audiences wanders, it my hope and intention that they contemplate the marks, the distance, the travel, the edge, the light and dark, the explosions of charcoal that look like squashed butterflies and the tremulous vulnerability of line, that they consider and appreciate the mortality and fragility of life and that death is never very far away.