Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Messages from the Deeps

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Messages from the Deeps: gelatin monoprint on 8”x10” stonehenge paper and coloured pencil.
Every gelatin print turns out different, and often I let random elements dictate the path. This particular piece took it's time making a suggestion, but final I received its message from the deeps, and with coloured pencils in hand, a face peered back at me.
When I do these primitive type images, I wonder how much, as a society, we have forgotten. While I don’t believe that we all should be running barefoot on the plains hurling flint-tipped spears at passing herds of antelope, I do believe it’s important to understand as much as possible where we came from in our collective past, because without memory, we loose continuity. In a single human-being, lost memory results in the dissolution of self; what does it mean if collectively, as a society, we forget our ancestry?
In my life, I walk barefoot in the grass, I walk through the forest, feel the wind on my face, biting in winter, and the heat of the summer that bathes my body in sweat. I don’t want to be shielded from the elements in cocoons of concrete and electronic entertainments. I want to experience life raw and real, and then explore what that brings forward.  I wonder what, but don’t really want to know, what life is like who only experiences the hot days of summer when they step out of their air-conditioned door to their air-conditioned car. I can guess, that they don’t care much about things like climate change or the environment.  What thoughts do people have who are eternally connected to cell-phones, and text messages, and movies, and games, where fabricated reality is the ONLY reality; theirs must be different from mine, where I’m left with spaces and silences to fill with my own words, concepts and images. I believe that only when we stand suspended between the earth and the sky, without barriers and distractions, can we ever hope to truly know who we are, and to stand a chance, however remotely, to have a glimpse at who we were, as humans, as a species, as that peculiar naked ape with the very big brain.
In my art, I search for these memories, buried far beneath the surface of the logical mind, but already, I suspect they are garbled and indistinct, a melange of influences, from popular culture, books, essays, artworks, but hopefully somewhere dug up from real experience, out and under the elements with the wind in my hair, and the smell of damp earth in my nostrils.
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