from the palace of experimental trickery

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‘from the palace of experimental trickery’ is the title of an ongoing series of drawings and paintings that started to appear in the spring of 2014. the title came after i’d been working on an initial group of 30 or so pictures, and at first, didn’t seem to have any relationship with them. however, as the body of work developed and grew larger, the connection between title and paintngs started to become clearer (to me anyway). My working practice in the studio incorporates experimentation and improvisation very comprehensively – a painting is a series of acts or actions, each one creating the space for the next to occur. Trickery is present, not so much in the sense of tromp l’oeil, an effort to trick the viewer with perfect illusions, but more in realisation that the world, visually, can be a very tricky place and things often don’t look like what they, or look like what they’re not. The palace part of the title refers to my childhood fascination with roadside attractions, especially gift shops – mysterious palaces filled with shiny, mysterious and magical objects.

Much of the work is abstract, but probably rides fairly close to the line where non-represention and representation meet, and is, among other things, a reflection, or interpretation of my experience of landscape. Landscape is as much a lived, experiential phenomenon as it is a fixed idea, and as such, the range of sensations and feelings and observations that come with such a phenomenon has to be accounted for when trying to describe the experience in a painting.

The individual titles of the works can be, in some cases, a literal description of what i ‘see’ in the pictures, while in others, the title can be chosen for very much the opposite reason.

I imagine the entire series of drawings and paintings, which now numbers something like 300, as being part, or parts of a story. Not necessarily a clear, linear story with a beginning, midle and end, but a much more meandering affair that is always writing and rewriting itself.

unless noted, everything is either 300mm x 420mm, or 420mm x 300mm, and acrylic on paper. click below to start the show!

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