My paintings used to be more about relationships between people. I associated them with my own experiences, but liked to think of them as situations that others commonly experienced in their own life. That the viewer could place themselves in the shoes of the figures I created; that the paintings showed an empathy towards human condition. In an interview I had in Toronto recently I was asked if my work was just about me. At first I was a little taken back by that question- it seems cliche to make anything personal in our post-modern world these days. But the work comes from me, and I only really know my own experience- I still like to think that people can associate with the figures/paintings I make; can recognize themselves in similar positions . Over the past year the work seems to have turned more towards focusing on a single figure. The individual trying to understand their own experience. Most recently I’m starting to see the reintroduction of a second figure, but they’ve become more bound up and implicated in each other; intertwined. There’s a new painting of mine titled Kin that is in the show in Toronto (I unfortunately realized after writing this that I don’t have an image of it)- I think it’s a good example of the direction I want my paintings to go. There’s this implication of the figures being intertwined through circumstances outside of their control. Some kind of inexplicable, unresolvable, heartbreaking tension between them. I’m glad that the work might be moving back towards talking more about relationships, it seems like such a essential part of human experiences; negotiating the social aspects of living. (I talk about this like it’s something out of my control, like another figure is popping up out of no where. I know I could easily just make that decision, say “two figures, relationships, switch modes!” but I’m so engrossed in process that these things just evolve and change over time, and when I notice them it’s almost a surprise to me.)
This is the most recent painting I’ve been working on since I came back from Toronto. I’ve been thinking a little about how a thing or place can insight a memory, an experience with another person, a body. Somehow a physical thing can get wrapped up in an imaginary remembrance. With this I was imagining the figure ground relationship in a painting as wrapped up together, again, intertwined. It’s still in its beginning stages but the trajectory seems a little different- the drawing seems more in tune with a mass than an outline, it feels refreshing to see some change in my approach.