A M P L I F I E R
Herringer Kiss Gallery, 2014
The process of developing a painting from a studio visit to another artists’ work space is such: I go in with my camera, shoot a few hundred photos, take my ‘data’ back to my own studio and start the meticulous process of looking for a seed, for the beginnings of a story I can understand. Sorting through images of these different spaces, the contents become abstract, a paint can is just a form, and a painting is a swatch of colour. The process of working through a studio painting and an abstract painting are the same: I sort through the visual chaos I am presented with, eliminating everything non-essential. It’s a bit like listening to a room full of languages being spoken, looking for one you understand. When I think I’ve found it, I zero in on that language and compose the painting from it.
In Sunshine Frere’s 2014 essay about the studio paintings, she likens the process to sorting through the noise to find a signal. It is this very same signal that is being tuned into when painting this abstract series. And to find this signal, I applied the very same strategy, but this time I had to first create the noise.
I began these paintings by unselfconsciously filling the blank canvas with colour, pattern and line. This process brings me roughly to the same point I find myself at when I enter an artists studio with my camera. From this point, I look for the signal. Cutting canvas down, over-painting, building it back up, I listen for a tone. When finally it is found, all else falls away and I work to bring it out. With brush in hand, I am the amplifier. From the noise, is found one unique sound.”