22/12/20 - 30/01/21
These new paintings are made with oil paint on wooden panels, but also with ash, chalk, gesso, wax and resin. They are an effort to reinvent the painting medium for myself, in order to try and understand it, to define some part of it.
That definitive part that I keep coming back to is the trace of an absent subject; the indexical sign normally associated with photography. Painting, however, is a self-indulgent activity and the traces it fixes are always those of the painter. I want to distil this aspect of painting by resisting it, by trying to shed all signs of the painter’s hand so that it is all the more evident when it does inevitably show. Digital design, mechanical processes and an effort to maintain control of unstable materials are all part of this attempt.
The depictions and themes in these paintings are an analogy, then, to absent subjects and to indexical traces suspended in a medium. Structures abandoned in landscapes, objects that indicate missing figures, optical effects manifested by the shadow of their viewer, and the tracks of atomic particles left in vapour are among the images in these works.
Image 'Mirror' - © Rory Prout