I think sometimes that my paintings are stronger together rather than alone. Like somehow they form part of a wider narrative. Perhaps like scenes from a film that taken out of context might be insignificant, hollow, or incomplete. I’m interested in the editing process of film-making and how images can be joined together to allow the viewer to fill in some of the story.
The images above are details of the installation I have in my studio of the ‘365 Paintings’, because they were produced one day after the other throughout the year they resonate quite strongly for me as a collection or a group. I see patterns emerging week on week, month on month and certain narratives that run through some sections. Also because they are very small and hung very close together in a grid format it is easier to see them as parts of a larger thing, like a sequence or a storyboard, which in turn provokes a filmic narrative.
This image shows a selection of recent paintings that sit in my studio in a dialogue with one another. I think they are stronger together.
This is a better example. I am enjoying how different works can inform each other and come together to create a narrative or dialogue.
To what extent do we look at paintings, or groups of paintings in a similar way to film? How does this influence story telling?
Our minds have been conditioned to look at imagery completely differently from one medium to the next. With painting the viewer is free to choose their own path through them, their own narrative and order of looking, but with a film it is the director or editor that has this power and it is the viewer that is dictated to. Painters rarely succeed in having this power I suppose leaving them more vulnerable. I think a lot depends on how the paintings are displayed, what size they are and if there are any visual clues to might lead the viewer from one to the next, taking elements of narrative with them. To what extend does colour and medium have significance here?
I’m also interested in the idea of quality, or a perceived quality. Recently I have been rejected for everything I’ve applied for, which is one one hand disheartening and in the other intriguing. I find myself questioning is my art bad quality? Does this mean that the images I create are un-interesting? What is the reason I have failed to inspire the judges? Or am I just applying for the wrong things? What does my art do and how / where should it do it? It does take a certain amount of resilience to try and get recognised as an artist.
I think it must be difficult for judges of competitions to judge paintings when they’re not actually seeing paintings, but photographs of them. The answer I think is to find a way of getting some paintings on display. I don’t think I will actually know how strong they are or what sort of story they tell until they are on proper exhibition somewhere. It is also worth pointing out that the rejected works are some of the paintings in the photograph above, where I pointed out that they are better together, so why am I trying to split them up? I should think about ways to keep them together or join up with other sets or groups. I like the idea of a number of groups of paintings operating on a couple of different surfaces, informing navigational decisions by the viewer.
I do have a couple of opportunities lined up in the near future that have come about from right time right place kind of situations and I’m looking forward to getting some paintings on walls outside my house.