Near To Shore
42 x 24 inches
Jacquard tapestry and painted wood relief
Clouds and Waves
The Clouds and Waves paintings are based on computer assisted abstractions of sky and water. The final pieces have, however, been produced in a very tactile manner: woven tapestries and carved, painted wood.
Representational painting depicts two things. First, there's a subject: the illusionary image behind the surface. Second, there's the craft: the materials and markings on the surface.
But have you noticed that you can't see these two things at the same time? Either you see the subject - the illusion of the image, or you see the traces of making. Your mind must flip back and forth.
I'm interested in this threshold. The point of crossing over from subject to material is what I've focused on in this new series.
Sections of these ‘paintings’ are woven tapestries. The images are not printed on fabric, rather a computer controls the arrangement of coloured threads in a weaving loom so that the images become an integral part of the material.
Only from a distance are the images visible. On close inspection, the abstracted vertical lines dominate. Closer still, and the pattern of the woven material is what you see.
On the painted sections you will notice that there are graphic elements: lines and hatch patterns, engraved into the surface. A translucent glaze has been pushed into the grooves which causes the surface to shift and glimmer in changing light.
Abstraction and tracing of photos of water and clouds were the source of the geometry. The resulting shapes have been used to guide a laser cutter that engraved the patterns in Baltic birch plywood - the substrate of the paintings.
As with the fabric sections, the subject matter of clouds and waves is best seen at a distance. Up close, the image breaks apart into abstract shapes and the physical qualities of the surface.
I hope that these pieces will give you a glimpse of yourself seeing, the opportunity to see the moment when your perception shifts between seeing the surface and seeing the illusion of the clouds and waves. Normally we are not conscious of this action, but how we ‘see’ the world is largely a projection of our ideas and preconceptions.