Gestural Abstraction, for me, is a compelling painting technique enabling the creation of images of movement and vitality. Painting about the subject of movement allows me to use the materiality of the paint and brush as if they are connected to my own kinaesthetic movement, thus producing work that traces out the act of painting and simultaneously gives pictorial form to the subject of the picture. My key interest in painting is to describe the invisible and transient trails of movement that are otherwise often overlooked in everyday experience. Some of the works involve descriptions of movement from personal experience and activities such as dance where the observation of movement begins from an internal kinaesthetic orientation. Other works describe the experience of moving through space and time by using the artists’ tools of colour and motion as the only elements to articulate the painted image. Still other works are concerned with the motion of natural forces that can be observed in the landscape by distilling ones perception to observe these phenomena and to describe them in painted form.
Interplay is an exhibition of large‐scale abstract paintings, created 2009‐2012. The painting technique employs gesture and colour at its heart to express the vibrant energies felt when dancing. Interplay extends the central theme of dance and combines this with aural experiences of performing with music. These works present kinaesthetic traces of live movement in line and gesture with layers of veiled colour that merge and disperse across the canvas surface. Interplay was exhibited in three stages across three years; the fist showing was a preview in 2010 followed by exhibitions in Melbourne in 2011 (Red Gallery) and Canberra in 2012 (M16 Artspace).
Invisible Rapture was created 2007-2008. In this body of work I focused on some specific movement disciplines such as yoga, tai chi and ballet. Each of these disciplines develops beautiful and functional form by training an intense internal focus. One of the fundamental elements for each of these disciplines is breath. I became interested in creating paintings that expressed the rise and fall of energy felt when breathing, to me, this relates to the sense of light and shade we use to describe optical or aural experiences or objects.
Variations follows the themes and subjects in Still Point and extends my explorations into self‐conscious action painting. In the creation of these works I pushed my techniques by experimenting more bravely with layering and colour transparency. Layering of transparent colours through transcribed actions, stimulated questions and connections for me concerning ‘being’ in relation to time and memory. I began to see the works as live movement recordings that encapsulated symbols relating to memory of experiences and thoughts.
Still Point is my first exhibition of works with a central theme of movement. These works were made and exhibited 2004-2005. The processes I have explored in these works are derived from translating elements of dance movement into an action style of painting. Rather than unconsciously applying paint to the canvas, these works use a choreographic approach to apply the paint in a kinaesthetic manner that mimics the original dance element. This way of working encouraged me to analyse the nature of (dance) movement and as a result I became curious about what the mind (mental) experiences while moving. Using myself as the experiment I found rich and dynamic meditative experiences. I also experienced spontaneous visualisations as a result of the joy I felt. Many of these visualisations are related to colour and nature, which I have incorporated into the painting compositions. I found a passage in T.S. Elliot’s poem Four Quartets; it seems to describe exactly what I was expressing in paint.
“Except for the point, the still point
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
…music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.” T.S. Elliot