The Wanderer, The Fool, and The Refuge
Despard Gallery 6 February - 3 March
Opening 5:30pm on Wednesday 6 February
Expanding upon the work created for my ADM Fellowship in 2017, this body of work explores the way art, and particularly painting, addresses and reinforces the nature of lived experience, especially in relation to fears and hopes surrounding ideas of separation, connection, deep longing, and the need for refuge.
Central to this project is the production of a body of paintings composed through collage that address personal and universal concerns of brokenness and restoration. This was done through collaging together motifs of shelters, the forest or landscape, and the use of art historical references or ‘sampling’. The act of collaging fragments and images together is central to this project as a compositional tool and also as a process which is analogous to restoration or mending. Collage, in its ability to cross borders and take imagery and references from elsewhere, is also connected to ideas of the nomadic or wanderer as emblematic of contemporary life.
My practice as a painter has always been concerned with an ambiguous figurative exploration of deep seated human tendencies and needs. The use of collage, and the attempt to grant the limited or vulnerable with strength and unity has been ongoing in my work. I have explored this previously through the translation to canvas of small, flimsy dioramas made of paper and cardboard, and through the motifs of temporary shelters and of three-legged dogs. Paintings capacity to invest images with unity and significance is an important driver in the choice of it as a medium. This project continues this trajectory but with a considerable personal connection.