Sublime Concave Artist Statement
If we knew The Earth was a living being watching our cities rise and fall would we do anything differently?
Often as a collective race of people we lose sight of ourselves, our actions and our fleeting time on the planet.
The old adage "someone is watching you", be it God, the universe, spiritual entities or purely the self and conscience, seems to have been abandoned largely by today's greater society. More and more we do what we like without thought of the repercussions of our actions to the planet or generations of the future.
As a child my father often took me cave exploring in New Zealand as he was a volunteer for a museum and knew of some remote and exciting places where artefacts had been found. He would tell me the stories and speculations relating to a particular place’s history and significance. While in the caves we would scratch around or imagine peoples from the past and the forgotten goings on within a space.
I always felt a sublime sense of fear and safety in these cavernous worlds and often wondered if other lands beneath the earth's surface existed awaiting discovery, the entrance being somewhere in the very cave we were standing in at that time. Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth was revelatory and exciting reading to me as a boy. I was always looking for lost utopias, always believing the earth was too big and powerful to give us all its secrets.
Caves are filled with metaphor and always have held a special hidden quality that many artists, philosophers and writers have drawn upon.
The four seasons sum up our lifespan and everything on earth. As a modern society we westerners seem to do everything in our power to deny the seasons and cheat time wanting to live forever in a perfectly controlled environment. Be careful what you wish for.
In this recent body of work I have explored stylised imagery and mark making techniques in a philosophical way, imagining rather than copying nature. This has parallels with the way a Byzantine artist might represent and interpret in a stylised manner opting not to compete with god’s initial perfect creation. This concept has been explored in by Plato in his book The Republic which has influenced my thinking regarding creative process for this exhibition. I love the natural world and take great interest in the way western art has viewed and sought to control and harness it. I see a sad impossible beauty in western culture’s attempts to do this and I think historically at times artists’ stylisation has rivalled nature itself in creation and aesthetic pleasure.