I’m busy finishing off the last few paintings for “Gleam”, my solo exhibition opening in the First floor space at Hill Smith Gallery, Pirie St, Adelaide on November 1st, and running until 22nd November.
Gleam is a collection of works about just that – the gleam of reflections on water, the gleam of the last or first rays of the sun… and the gleam of the back-lit screen of a digital tablet. Every one of these drawings and paintings has its origin in an observational drawing made “en plein air” on my iPad. Some works are the actual drawings presented on light boxes, backlit just as they are on the iPad. Some are paintings of the original drawings – re interpreted in oil on board. Others are paintings of my finger marks on the iPad – close-ups of cropped digital drawings where slippage begins to occur between “represented” and “representing”. My work is an apologia for the primacy of seeing – the intricate and very human process of perceiving an image of our outside world via the retina and a complex cognitive transformation. It is also a celebration of the effect new technology has, and has always had, on the practice of Artists. I am influenced by many other Artists – notably David Hockney, Richard Diebenkorn, Pierre Bonnard, Èdouard Vuillard and the whole Nabi group, and the wonderful group of “9 by 5” cigar box works at the Art Gallery of South Australia, along with their evocative frames. Which brings me to frames – you will see that the “frames” of these paintings are an integral part of the work. They are inspired by the way drawings appear on an iPad and encouraged by my dilemma with frames, framing and the effect of photography on the way we think we see the world.