Heartlands: a translation
“Art is a creation for the eye and can only be hinted at with words.” (John Baldessari, “What is painting” 1966-68.
Art is also a creation for the heart and mind. It can bypass words, the way music can.
The paintings in this exhibition are an attempt at visual translation of feeling. They are a kind of mapping – of expressions of emotional experience, sometimes linked to the idea of place – and haunted by the knowledge that there is a lot of blood on the ground.
Although the colours and some of the shapes are inspired by actual places, the paintings are not illustrations of them. Some are ideas of places I have loved: some are the idea of ancestral countries, where my forbears migrated from, yet to be visited. Others are of states of the heart, some of which involve another kind of migration.
This was the starting point. After a while these expressions, translating into images, did away with the self, becoming ‘their own thing’, focusing on shape, colour and tone. Usually beginning with an underpainting in red, the paint is applied in thin layer slowly over time, sometimes hiding what lies beneath, sometimes creating something else in the overlapping.
They can be interpreted/translated according to the state of heart of the viewer.