Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Current Exhibition - influences. Installment 1

The show at the Holden Gallery has come together really well - you can see my first set of images of it at

My paintings have been bright for a few years now and I have loved the freedom to use color as I wanted to. However, darkness and light have been consistent themes in my work for over 10 years, as a scroll through old blog posts will confirm!

Aspects of my childhood can be seen in the earlier nightscapes as well as in the current light installations. Growing up in Trinidad next a huge oil refinery, there was always an orange light from the flare boom and this turned the landscape into a mysterious place of twilight and shadows - against a backdrop of thousands of lights. The boring everyday details of place were hidden, and relationships became more ambiguous. When I left Trinidad, this interest in lights went with me to the UK where I would be driving between cities at night or looking out from train windows noticing that of course, lights indicated human presence. Although light and dark depend on nature (physics relies on natural properties after all), electric light means that energy is being created and expended intentionally. The use of light and dark in my work can be seen as an engagement between human and nature, an aknowledgment that technology can be controlled to achieve various results. I choose to make art with it.

Next post, I'll look at shadows again in the context of my installations.

Meantime, here is one of those transitional images that's not on my website - it superimposes later ideas on the bones of an earlier realist work. Just realized it has a resemblance to Stapler, which IS on the website...

17 coffee filters, 2007. 28 x 30 inches, oil and spray paint on canvas.