Transcript of my group crit 10/2

K: I’m loving how much movement I’m getting from this… It’s a vibe!
My eye is obviously taken to the thick purple one in the centre.

N: I really like that purple-ultramarine colour, it’s really beautiful. It shows up throughout, this kind of purpleish-blue.
I’m really curious about the circle on the left. It just feels so different from the rest of the painting… There’s this very prominent edge there and it really draws my attention, as well as the curve obviously.

K:What I found curious more than anything in this one. The dots. I’m assuming the one on the big canvas looks like a sun, or something. But it’s funny how I guess the other three could be the movement of the sun or something.

N: Ooh.

K: They look like units, or almost like atoms. But the one especially on the small canvas on the left, there’s that one in the centre of the blue circle, which looks like it’s surrounded by that circle. And I thought that was really interesting, since you were talking about when you experience the landscape it’s all around you. So it just reminded me of what we were talking about before. I don’t know if that is what it is. I wanna know more!

N: I’ve never seen you paint in this landscape shape before, and it’s really interesting to see you do that. I feel like your paintings have always been very vertical. I suppose it’s always been very sky focused, very tree focused. It’s exciting to see how your technique adapts to a different shape.

G: The whole painting is ruled by the horizon. Although you can’t really see that, it’s just how I picture it in my mind, everything is coming off the horizon line. And the paintings like a vista, but one that doesn’t really make sense.
I guess it’s like a weird abstract version of those old panorama paintings.

N: It reminds me of the work Tillie’s brother did.

G: The idea of things on the horizon, or beyond the horizon.

K: That day we were on that hill up on Williamson Park, when you look at the horizon line, from that perspective, it’s not as simple as traditional paintings portray it to be. Because traditional paintings will have a set format, or a set dimension, and they have to fit everything into that one scale. And that could also mean that they have to compromise on the scale, how detailed or how much they actually put in there. But in your case, it’s actually so close to what you experience in reality. Because it is a thing where you have to turn your head 180 degrees, or like have this point of view where you are able to have this massive long panorama. In which case it feels more true to life. I think Kasia is talking about the shape of the canvas here.
And the other thing I was thinking, it reminds me of this scripture. It looks like a scripture roll. It’s quite narrow but it’s long… If you want to put your point further about mapping stuff, it feels like one of those old maps that they used to have that they rolled out.

Nuria brings up the word palimpsest:

N: I got this from that culumbian artist whose amazing. Basically a palimpsest is an old scripture, which has been re-used and re-written on. Paper used to be very valuable, so alot of the time they would erase old scriptures and write new things on top. It’s this paper that are very old, and have lots of layers. Writers like Timothy Morton use these as metaphors for lots of things – having layers of meaning under things. It reminds me of the way you work, it’s so layered and you kind of build up on it. It’s definitely the way Kasia works. Since you’re rewriting, I think that’s a good way to think about it.

G: This way of painting is very different to what I’m used to. And this idea of re-working is interesting and something I’m grappling with. Because what am I working towards? When I paint outside it happens really quickly, in like an hour and a half. And it’s done when I feel like there’s a world within the painting that reflects where I am in real life, or something. But with this I’m like, at one point am I gonna be like: it’s done.
You can’t answer that can you until you have that feeling. It feels very alien just working on it, without any time constraints, it’s not gonna get dark, or cold or hungry. So yeh this idea of re-writing over the top is really interesting and not something I’m used. I do put down multiple layers on top, but not many, because I stop really quickly.

N: It reminded me because when you said the horizon line is there but you can’t see it anymore, you know.
What are you going to add to it? What’s your plan?

G: I’m going to keep working instinctively on it. Keep my focus on it. Because my focus is remembering things, it’s like a demanding way to work because I have to keep re-putting my body in that time and that place. It’s a process of concentration, and towards the end of yesterday, this whole idea of painting bodily memory, it’s not easy because when you think about things, your instinct is to remember what it looked like. Because I visited these places repeatedly. That’s important, because looks are specific to one single memory in time. Am I trying to recall a general bodily experience of a place? Is that possible? Reading about Hodgkin might help with this – how did he work with , depict, visit memory? To try and remember what it felt like, at least for me, is more emotional, requires more intention. Because these places aren’t extremely emotionally charged, are they not? I guess. In a very visceral, let me try and remember having an argument with someone or. It’s a subtle feeling. And so, as I’m reworking the painting I’m fine-tuning my antenna for remembering what it felt like to be there. it’s a meditation kind of thing. Because you have a focus, doesn’t the focus change? of which all other thoughts you allow to come and go. And instead of being focused on that thing [only], I’m also translating it onto the canvas.
So yeh I’m just going to keep fine-tuning that thing I think. I think that’s what the aim of these two paintings are.

N: There’s something interesting about revisiting a memory, how it would change the more you revisit it. Like the telephone game right? It’s in this flow, morphing the more you manipulate it. It’s like a lump of clay! I don’t know. It’s going to slightly shift with your painting, not saying that’s a bad thing. I think that’s great, especially if you work in an abstract way.

G: Ellie said in a crit before Christmas, that when you make work in the studio, you’re painting in response to the work itself. Painting your experience of the studio, this idea of like I’m painting a memory but I’m also painting my experience of the memory in the present moment, and my experience of the painting. !!

N: Yeh. And every time you remember the memory it’s going to be slightly different, because of the experience of the painting on-top of it. So in a way it would be a bit of a palimpsest.

G: When you put it like that, it feels like: am I walking away from the memory, or towards the memory? It feels like I’m trying to navigate something. Will the final finished painting be further from the memory than when I started? Will it come towards it? YASSS interesting.

N: I don’t think it’s important though, in your case.

G: It’s using the painting medium as a way to explore that.

N: If it shifts that’s something that’s important to your work, it shifts in a valuable.

G: It’s exciting that I’m using painting as a way to investigate these things, as like a practice. Similar to meditation!

N: It’s so much more figurative than I would have expected. It’s easier to navigate from an uninformed eye. You know the sun shapes, you can guess they’re clearly suns. And this horizon idea, it’s good, I like that. Like the field thing, I feel like there’s symbolisms that are easy to pick up as an outsider.

G: That’s what excites me so much about abstract landscape painting; there are these shapes and arrangements of form that just intrinsically make you think oh it’s a landscape oh it’s a sun. We see an orange circle, we think sun. There is literally no horizon line in that, but it’s interesting that you say you can still see it.

N: Because things come from under in the painting don’t they. What if I painting things coming from outer and going under? Reversing things? Would it not look like a landscape? Would it look like an alien landscape and not an earthly landscape? Would it appear to be breaking rules of space-time? The way the shapes grow, is very much gravity. Breaking through the soil – coming from under.

G: And that’s such a phenomenological thing. If you showed an abstract landscape painting to an alien, would they see the horizon line? They might not. It’s totally a reflection of taking these abstract shapes and in our minds we make them into a landscape. Which is really cool. I’m always trying to explore that I think.

K: What’s the other painting of?

G: The other one is the same composition but on a different format. I wanted to have two experiments going at the same time, both with the same subject matter.
The other one is anchored in the horizon line, but this one itsn’t so much. When I first put down paint, I didn’t draw any line across the canvas. I put things down in a flatter way, and so it’s more abstract. What does the word abstract mean? Because I used it here meaning it doesn’t look like a landscape, it isn’t about the earth, the land, a place. I’m being free-er with this one.

N: The pink, still pinks towards home for you?

G: Yeh, there’s like waves of pink in this one. An all encompassing pink-ness. I guess I’m trying to paint that feeling of knowing where you are in relation to another place. And how it can feel like there is something pulling you towards a place, or pushing you away from it. And I’m just [attempting to] paint that with colour, I guess.

*Nuria recommends looking at De Kooning for how he adds charcoal drawings to the surface of the canvas.*:

N: He would put charcoal drawings onto the canvas, and it would just swallow it as part of the painting [laughs]. A swallowing painting haha I love that!

G: I love that.

K: I feel like I need more time with the painting itself.

G: Well comments are always welcome!

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s