Stone is not stone, 2014, oil on panel
by Nigel Smith
Are we ‘here today, gone tomorrow’? Is our existence just a momentary flicker or an eternity?
These recent expressive works take their cue from found imagery and the subconscious mind. Notions of impermanence are explored through intuitive gesture and sanding back, to reveal complex layers. Techniques such as dripping and pouring of paint are significant, controlled by the hand of the artist to ensure the immediacy of the gesture, is locked in an instant. The elements of chance through random mark-making are contrasted against more measured decisions. These compositions in oils, mixed media and spray paint, build into epic, dense ‘dreamscapes’ – part memory, part imagination.
Abstraction becomes a means to observe, negotiate and analyze the world. Eastern philosophy – particularly the ideas of emptiness and Wabi-Sabi – have inspired my work. The paintings explore themes of isolation, human interaction with each other and our environment, emigration, observation, media, sharing of information and political and geographical boundaries.
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