Nature is Imagination
I am working within the continuum of artists from cave painters onwards, whose subject matter is nature. As our relationship with and ideas about nature change so there is an acceleration of different ways of working with it.
Perhaps the greatest shift in our thinking in the shadow of climate change is to do with how our attempts to utilise and colonise nature have backfired. There is a loss of contact and disassociation from it that is having tangible destructive consequences on the environment.
Artists and writers are thinking of ways to work 'with' nature, rather than to define, conceptualise or utilise it. The French essayist Helen Cixous' writing, for example, is described as being:" a path into nature . . . Things are felt more by being caressed with discourse than being classified and named. They are felt in their essence."
For me, the starting points are my photographs of natural places. Over these I work pigments, earths and acrylic wash - tipping and tilting the surface of the canvas and using big brushes and mops to move the paint around. I watch and partially control the bloomings of colour, sedimentations of sand and tide lines that dry at the edge of pools.
I don't 'paint' so much as facilitate the natural alchemy and movement of the materials as they interact with each other. I like to combine the technological rendering of nature as it appears in photographs, the facilitation of the nature in the materials and my own nature in the looking and doing. At some point this can all be integrated and with an act of imagination, a new image emerges. Is imagination nature?
"To the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself" William Blake