Friday, December 14, 2018

LIFE + RISK + LEAVES

 Cosmic Testimony Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017


As I mentioned in my last post, I am on crutches with a full leg brace. It is difficult to stand and sit at a desk for a long period of time, let alone sit in a car. I am 1.8 m tall with long legs and when one of these legs cannot bend and the other has a slight injury, even simple things are difficult. I hope to get back to my studio practice asap though!

LEAVES
In this post I present three paintings from 2017. Each of the paintings includes leaves. In my mind they are leaves that have fallen from the tree-of-life. Each of these paintings also include figures. As regular readers know I do not often include figures as I am careful not to appropriate other people's stories. However, the tree-of-life is often my figure substitute, a symbolic representation of human life and all life, at the same time.


The Leaves are Leaving Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017


Each of the three paintings also include radiating lines that appear like the rays of the sun. But, are they? Well, they could be, if that's what you want to believe. However, for me, they are the surveillance and targeting signals of an airborne drone.That the signals take on a fake sunshine appearance is deliberate.

I ask, what are we not noticing? What risks are we oblivious to? Are we noticing the effects of ubiquitous surveillance? Are we noticing what is happening to the leaves of the tree-of-life?

Leaves can fall off a tree because the tree is deciduous. The fallen leaves provide mulch on the ground. A cycle of life continues as the tree, in springtime, sprouts new leaves. But, leaves can fall off a tree due to lack of water, heat stress or poisoning. The leaves fall as the tree dies.

The leaves in my paintings are metaphors.........................................

Cheers,
Kathryn


Can the Leaves Still Dance? Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017

Monday, December 03, 2018

SCOPIC GAZE - 21ST CENTURY

Scopic Gaze - 21st Century Oil on linen 36 x 36 cm 2018


I have fractured my left patella and injured other parts of my body too. Long story involving a cat, a ledge and a flight of stairs. It is difficult to sit at a desk with one leg up. Thus this post will not be too long. 

Scopic Gaze - 21st Century connects to my last two posts and paintings Fake Eyes: In The Sky and Seeing Through the Fake Window. It also connects with a number of other posts and paintings where I reflect on ideas of 'drone vision', 'machine vision' and other anthropomorphic terms applied to contemporary machines and systems, particularly militarised and militarise-able ones. 

The scopic perspective is offered by cameras and guns. Cross-hairs and other focusing mechanisms scope space to identify targets to capture, to shoot. Both words, capture and shoot, apply to cameras and weapons! When cameras and weapons are combined, for example in an airborne drone, the capturing and shooting are amplified.

In the 21st century we are increasingly accustomed to images, more often than not, viewed on a screen of some sort. The edges of the screen render the peripheral unseen, in a way mimicking the scopic gaze of the camera and weapon. Digital images on screens comprise multitudes of pixels, tricking us into believing what we see. Yet, each pixel is bordered by its edges. Without companion pixels the image disintegrates. Each pixel is like a micro - scope capturing data that is only meaningful when positioned with other scopic - pixels. Do we really see or are we detecting?

Does the 21st century scopic gaze, which we are incessantly exposed to, change the way we see, what we believe, how we imagine and dream? Does it condition us to view the screen as a window - albeit a fake one? 

Scopic Gaze - 21st Century depicts a blood red tree-of-life as a target. Is it a camera targeting to take a shot, or a weapon targeting to take a shot? What if it is both camera and weapon? 

There are a lot of questions I ask myself as I write my post and paint my paintings. But, underlying everything I love that painting can visually pose and penetrate questions - without employing the the digital and cyber systems used by scopic mechanisms. 

Oh, and the tree-of-life is always a symbol of hope!

Cheers,
Kathryn