Playing with contradictions
When I started this piece, I had taken a whole load of photographs of various mundane and ordinary objects we come across every day.
In this particular painting, it started off with a set of house keys. We all have keys. They can open up places for you but they can equally lock you in or out. In terms of our every day possessions, they are relatively small and unobtrusive, and we really don’t think about them very much. However we are likely to get ourselves in a complete state of panic, if we think we have lost them. I like this dichotomy and contradiction.
As part of my experimental process using Photoshop, I began to play with moving the shape of the image of the keys. I had been making drawings of Flamenco dancers, which I started to emulate with the image of my keys. The reason behind this was that I have been interested in Flamenco music and dancing since various trips to Southern Spain. The origins of Flamenco whilst not totally clear, interested me, as a hybrid music and dance created as a reaction to the cultural oppression the gypsies had encountered. Even today, Flamenco is exploited and parodied the world over. However no one can take away the personal and cultural dignity that Flamenco epitomises, however much this happens. The urgent tone, rhythm and pulse of the music is set against the contradiction of both controlled, yet often frenzied dance, punctuated by very sculptural and poised movements of the body. Flamenco is a very emotive force, but it never loses control.
Transforming the keys in a sense liberated them from their original reading, and put them in a undefinable context. But that was just the start of my own hybrid and experimental process. Using oils and painting into the digital image close up allowed me to lose that context further and to discover new possibilities within the digital patterns and rhythms I could see. However for a while I was a bit lost, it wasn’t quite working. So when it gets like this, I just stop and let it sit for a bit whilst I get on with something else.
After a while I concluded that the piece was starting to look a bit samey – I had lost that dynamic sense of push and pull between the painting and the digital image. This is when I decided to introduce the bold blue painted stripe at the side, to create a deliberate and dominant contradiction.
The piece is called ‘The Dancing Moth’.