STATEMENT OF RECENT PRACTICE

 

 

I love making. Knowing that I am going to make something, the question I often ask of myself is what to make? I regard this question as a useful and often amusing starting point. In answering my question, paradoxically, I know that the journey and result will demand surprise. Part of my process therefore incorporates a working method which ensures the outcome is unknown.

 

I am intrigued by the idea of essence - the essence of a person, place or ‘thing’. I choose to focus on the visual and spatial relationship between two or more entities. Through a process of collaging, I align fragments from found or made imagery, so that they ‘fit naturally’. I know the illusive fit is found when I can see a new image within the collage. I can then tease out and reveal this image. I make sure to only resolve a collage so far, so that in the making of the ‘final’ piece, there still remains an element of that discovery and surprise.

 

Running parallel to my search for a ‘natural fit’, I am also attempting to find a balance between visual honesty and visual opportunity. Visual honesty being the acknowledgement of the painted surface: paint being paint, and visual opportunity being the awareness of what paint is capable of doing: creating an illusion of space. My work often sits somewhere between abstract and figurative painting.

 

I extend my search for a ‘natural fit’ to the relationship between support & frame, and frame & wall. The framing and attachment can in fact be the piece, or make the piece. My time in Florence on the John Kinross Scholarship, and my tenure as ‘Visiting Artist’ at the American Church in Paris compounded my interest in icon painting. Since then I have been exploring the potential for that format within my work. A religious flavour can have playful connotations when I ask myself ‘What to make?’

 

Click here to see an interview with Peter J Chalmers