‘A pale light would illuminate a small clearing where the ruined top floor of a sunken building loomed through the foliage’ The drowned world by J.G.Ballard
The works centre around the idea of a metaphorical no-place, the Latin definition of ‘Utopia’. They move between depicting both an ideal and uninhabitable place. From afar the paint marks appear as vegetation but the closer you get to the image the more they disintegrate into spots and splurges of colour. Certain marks give a feeling of being underwater or being in a place without air, especially the fluid un-naturalistic gestures that dance around the surface flattening the space behind them. Along with the collage the use of acrylic paint has helped this as the dead, matte colours make a synthetic surface that has deadening spatial qualities.
Literature has been a strong inspiration and source for these ‘non spaces’ particularly the concrete world of J. G. Ballard’s books The Drowned World and Super Cannes. Both books show us different concrete Utopias; one idealistic and money driven, one reclaimed by a pre historic climate but both uninhabitable. J. G. Ballard’s use of concrete structures such as tower blocks and car parks tap into their ability to remind us of long gone utopian dreams. This timelessness of concrete structures evokes a similar feeling to that which ruins of buildings give us. It reminds us of the passing of time but also of the inevitable destruction of our present.
The idea of ruins has begun to fragment the collage elements of my work so that they no longer dominate the paint around it but operate with the paint, as concealed entrances, shards of buildings that used to inhabit the space. This gives the overall feeling that the landscapes seem as though they are in a state of flux, an embryonic state that has not fully formed allowing for a fluid painterly reality to come to the fore.