Paintings and Sculpture
For the last few years I have been working with an idea that while paintings can relay a subject matter through an image, they are also bodies that have an influence on the bodies around them. In this sense I have been influenced by Deleuze-Guattarian ideas around materiality and its relationship to bodies. Deleuze and Guattari consider a painting a bloc of sensation: a compound of percept and affect. Within this conceptual toolkit, percepts are forces that act on the body. Affects are the capacities to invoke or undertake a change in a body, and always implicates another body. A painting, then, has a material relationship to a human body, and has the capacity to influence a change in a human body. That is how we see and feel something of the painting.
I have found that I work in series because the meaning in painting arises in part in the relationship between paintings, and the way they come together in an environment. An exhibition of paintings, for instance, involves an assemblage created through a relationship of a viewer with a single painting, or a group of paintings, within a specific context. While the affect and percept of a painting could be said to come from the materiality of the painting, the relationships between paintings, and their relationship with a specific context, also influence the meanings created.
This broad idea has influenced my production over the last few years: from working in series of painting, to working with series of painting as installations. When I started building installations I used my paintings to build structures. This offered a way to explore multiple viewpoints of single moments within structured landscapes. The structures I built consisted of the basic raw material of painting stretchers, and painting itself: wood, canvas, screws, and paint. I considered these conglomerations of paintings, for the most part, to be installations. In an installation of paintings, the formation of paintings influences each other’s readings. While this form could still be explored further, it is also possible to approach the interface between painting and its objectness in other ways.
One way would be to approach this interface sculpturally. I realise, however, my combinations of paintings have been moving towards a sculptural form for two or three years. A sculpture is a self-contained conglomeration of forms. While the arrangement of a sculpture in its relationship to other elements of an environment is important, a sculpture does not create an environment so much as create a presence within an environment. I am interested in what such a presence can do to influence my painting. The interfacing of these two different disciplines, painting and sculpture, offers a vast area to explore. What percept and affect would form through this encounter? That is something I want to see and experience.
The sculpture that is part of Movement and its limitation within an environment extracts forms out of paintings, and reconfigures and repurposes those forms. It is an object, or rather, a collection of objects, through which an interface between painting and sculpture takes shape.
Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (2011). What is philosophy?. London [u.a.]: Verso.