Monday, December 13, 2010


Finding The Light Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm

I have uploaded some of the paintings that will be in my forthcoming exhibition VORTEX. Here's a short statement I have written for the exhibition:

Solo exhibition exploring vortexes, taking the viewer to cosmological extremes and to intimate spiritual places. The turmoil of the outer vortex, depicted in images of environmental degradation, is balanced by images of the inner vortex where stillness offers a place to listen to ourselves. VORTEX traverses distance by playing with perspective and using the age old trans-cultural/religious tree-of-life as a guiding motif which explores the intimate and vast, both temporally and spatially.

Regular readers of my BLOG will know that I have been writing about vortexes for some time now. The statement above just touches upon some of my thoughts. It is always quite difficult to condense something, one is somewhat obsessed by, into a short statement!

I see VORTEX as being a coherent exhibition with paintings exploring the beauty of stillness at the core of the vortex...and other paintings exploring the turmoil on the outer vortex, particularly in regards to the 'madness' I see happening with CSG mining on prime food producing farmland. AND, regular readers will know my thoughts there!

Yet, my paintings exploring the turmoil of the outer vortex are not ugly...well I don't think they are! I see beauty as offering hope. I cannot see the point in creating more ugliness or reminding people of it in an unrelenting way. There's enough in the mass media to remind us of the plunderous and degrading activities which the human race has inflicted upon the Earth. Image after image, seemingly imploring for enlightened solutions lose their impact after awhile. We become desensitised and in the process we feel neutered, as if the problems are SO huge there is no way we can make a difference. Now.... this is where beauty has the power to uplift as it reminds people of paradise... that if beauty can still exist, even in imagination, the potential to resurrect any 'paradise lost' is still there.

One painting of the 'madness', which will be in VORTEX, is the painting below, called $oils Ain't $oils...Anymore! This painting questions value by using small $ signs to signify water, soil and coal. It's prophecy is not attractive, yet I feel that beauty still stretches its hand out through the turmoil to the viewer, in a way which stimulates hope rather than destroying it.

As I have written a number of times before, I prefer to consciously elide ugliness. This means that ugliness, and all its contingent erosive attributes, exists in absentia in my work, thus negating criticisms of naivity. Indeed, as regular readers of this BLOG know, I have spent many years living in rural Queensland, and whilst I am not a soil or water expert, I do arrive at this point in my life, with decades of practical experience and observations, which are visually parley in my paintings.

I have previously written about beauty

$oils Ain't $oils...Anymore! Oil on linen 70 x 100 cm


The painting at the top of the page 'Finding the Light' and the three paintings below, were all inspired by my imaginatings of what it might be like to be present inside a vortex at its core. The first time I closed my eyes and imagined the stillness, I felt calm. As I have written before, this stillness offers a quiet where we can hear things we did not know we could hear, see things we did not know we could see, and feel things we did not know we could feel. For me this beautiful sentient place is a place of hope, where the human race may find answers to questions it did not know to ask.

Compassion Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm 2010

Colour Of Stillness Oil on linen 100 x 60 cm

                                                                  Hovering At The Centre Oil on lnen 30 x 30 cm


If art can trigger the collective imagination, to take us to places of stillness where hearing, seeing and feeling things we were previously unaware of is possible, then art could be called a superconductor!

Here's an explanation from of what a superconductor literally is:

If art can be seen as a superconductor, we can now think about what might create resistence to render it impotent and inert. Maybe ugliness, in a way which regurgitates mass media's reportage, is one resistor? And, maybe beauty is a potent transistor?

Concepts like this tickle my imagination and have done so for a long time. My Dad is a HAM radio enthusiast and I grew up with electronic bits and pieces, plus our farm was uniquely identifiable by Dad's tall aerials. Our cars were always equipped with HAM radios, Dad made our first TV in the early 60s, and our first record player also. Here's some info for those of you who do not know what HAM radio is.  AND...One of my brothers is in IT and his current specialty is supercomputing.

In another post I will write about art and its potential to be a superconductor for cultural diplomacy. Unfortunately, 'show and tell' type attitudes are resistors. I draw some of my thoughts from my own experiences exhibiting in London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Seoul.

22 Feb - 6 March 2011:  Graydon Gallery, Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane. I will be at the exhibition daily 10 am -6 pm, so it is a chance for me to chat to people. I had a great time chatting at my exhibition FRISSON in March this year.



Kay said...

I am always fascinated by your paintings and your thinking. I feel like a slacker sometimes because my art is definitely do it and think about it later! I kind of fly by the seat of my pants ...that said..I really appreciate an artist who is so thoughtful about their art.

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting Kay. There's often a bit of hit and miss in my work, but, as you would know, problem solving is what an artist does well!