My current visual art practice is a continuum of the human preoccupation to make sense and give purpose to existence. Historically, this preoccupation has often manifested in the production of icons and idols – art and craft that has existed for millennia. This practical and creative response has helped our common ancestors express devotion, thanks and of course fear. The need to set others above or apart from oneself has often, perhaps ironically, brought comfort and focus to human kind.
The works take the form of paintings, sculptures and installations; reimagined icons and objects of devotion for now, the present, representing real individuals either living or dead. They are tributes to people who may never be widely acknowledged for their goodness, compassion or even for their humanness. I alone have decided to acknowledge them as saints.
Not wishing to influence response to my paintings, most recently I have chosen to reveal my saints in abstraction, using a square format – neither portrait nor landscape – at a size suggesting that often the most precious things are diminutive. The viewer is unaware of any physical attribute or characteristic which may distract from the purpose of these portraits; that is to celebrate the person exclusively.
The pilgrimage will continue…
i continue to explore the visual iterations and am very happy with progress. some days i am painting poetry others i paint prose. not having any clear commercial aesthetic gives me freedom to enquire…
portrait of an unknown saint (jim) 2019 – my paternal grandfather
portrait of an unknown saint (eunice) 2019 – my paternal grandmother