Monday, March 30, 2009


After a couple of weeks not painting I am now back into it. I was distracted by the preparation for two presentations which both went well. I have to say, though, I prefer being in my studio on my own. Venturing into the public arena is always fun, but I need to recharge my batteries with some alone time in my studio. The recharging is under way.

The good thing about a break is that it can cause a departure from previous work. Others may not pick up on the departure, but I am aware of it. I used to fight it, but now I welcome it knowing that any departure is a result of new experiences, rethinking and reflection...even if it has only happened in a couple of weeks.

In my presentation for the Qld Academy of Arts and Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology Art Museum I spoke to the topic 'A Critical Space: The Art/Science Nexus'. One of my suggestions was that both artists and scientists have insightful powers of observation. This might happen to a greater or lesser extent in individuals, but generally speaking acute observation is a capacity which is shared by both scientists and artists. Both may observe their physical surroundings but they will also observe their reactions to and thoughts about these observations. It is one thing to observe with your seeing eye, but to observe those things which sight might trigger in the imagination where the capacity for wonder exists is another level of observation.

Artists and scientists will make internal critical judgements about their wonderings. This is where there is possibly a departure in manner because the desired outcomes are different. And, it is a good thing there is a difference, because I believe art must avoid the trap of thinking it can provide answers when it has the power to prompt questions. However, science is driven to find answers albeit knowing that any answer must be refutable. Questions keep science honest, but only to the extent of the quality of the questions. Art is one of science's partners pushing for questions based on wonder and imagination.

The power of observation ranging from observing the external to then observing the internal paths of imagination and wonder is a dance of close and far distance. The artist and the scientist employ powers of perspective to view their physical world and also their own internal worlds. Interestingly I have written the plural for internal 'worlds'. This poses interesting questions about the space or distance which is inside each of us.

The painting above is called 'Rain Brings Hope', gouache on paper, 30 x 42 cm [unframed]. It is from my 'Water' series of works on paper.

1 comment:

moneythoughts said...

Very nice piece of work. I like it.

I would love to know more about your batteries, as you produce some very interesting stuff.