Shortlisted for the Cartazini Award 2011
Nominated artwork: Amapolo
The inspiration for this piece came from observation of poppy flowers. Abstraction of the fruiting body became the focus of my attention.
My painting can be interpreted at many levels. The poppy is not immediately obvious to every observer. I have heard many remarks - sea creature; jewellery; alien lifeform; lifeforce; explosive dispersal of seed; etc. It pleases me to think of this three-way relationship between my imagination, the painting and the understanding of the observer.
Abstraction gives me an opportunity to take something that exists in the real world to reinvent it with colour and texture. Alteration of scale allows me to present a new landscape inspired by the natural world that usully goes unnoticed by the casual observer. There is so much of the exotic in our ordinary everyday life and I bring that increased awareness and sensual connection associated with a meditative state of mind.
This style of painting is called Sgraffito. I lay down many layers of paint responding to colour and shape, in a subliminal way at first working on emerging images; scoring through numerous layers of paint and revealing colours from below, until at some point the painting itself directs me as to it's composition. It is only at that stage - maybe fifteen layers in - that I begin to take control of the final destiny for the piece. Threads of colour mingle almost like weaving a tapestry.
The deckle edge and fabric-like quality of Fabriano paper is a significant aspect of my work. The paper is frayed deliberately giving the appearance of a fragment. Torn edges, fragile paper contrast the robust nature of the paint. It is a powerful sensation to 'tear' the painting knowing that it is the right thing to do.
Medium mixed media on Fabriano paper
Dimensions 30cm x 30cm
Amapolo is the Catalan for poppy