This work is one of a series of recent paintings derived from found images, manipulated and transformed by the artist to introduce mystery, ambiguity, and into which weave new narratives. They depict a land and its inhabitants at the furthest reaches of our own; a world that is recognizable, yet also strange and unknowable. Imagination, myth and history combine to evoke an unsettling and traumatised territory, which can be read as both a physical and a psychological landscape; a contested frontier that lies between the safe and familiar, and something desolate, threatening and unwholesome.
Executed in oils on an acrylic ground, a process of loss and retrieval is enacted upon the canvas; images are repeatedly created and then destroyed in order to heighten the tension between the figurative and the abstract. This strategy works to reinforce the perception of people and places as existing simultaneously in two worlds or states, dissolving or emerging from the paint. Like residual and indistinct memories, they are ambiguous and unreliable, half forgotten, half remembered.
oils and acrylics
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