I am in the midst of developing a series of sculptural paintings which feature mis-aligned canvases, alterations, or distinct missing shapes or ‘portals’. This collection of works explores my emotions connected to the death of my father early last year.
How we navigate through a world when a loved one, especially a parent, is no longer here is something that we dread to think about. But when it arrives, we are forced to deal with the mass of destruction it has left us with. The emptiness it has left us with. The fact that we will never be the same again.
The idea of understanding grief and how we navigate life with grief is the beating heart of this series of works. As you stand still with the shock, the world around you is still moving fast like nothing has happened. I try to encapsulate these sensations in the work by approaching painting with dissonance. Probing the conventions associated with the painted canvas as I attempt to regain my footing and my sense of self in the world with the loss.
Each artwork is constructed with wood, canvas, primer, and paint. It is important that I embark on each artwork with the same traditional methods from which you would build a canvas, sharing a starting point only. As I construct, I adapt them, rejecting the structures and constraints of the conventional frame.
The canvas is manipulated to create curves, contours, and silhouettes. Improvisation is integral to the production and display of these paintings as they push against formality. As they are assembled, they become uncomfortably animated, or awkwardly irregular, creating a tension that heightens the viewers emotions.
My hope is that these paintings translate the workings of grief to audiences who have never experienced it and to be an acknowledgement to those that have.