There is in nature an eternal life, becoming, and movement. She alters herself eternally, and is never still. She has no conception of stasis, and can only curse it. She is strong, her step is measured, her laws unalterable. She has thought and constantly reflects- not as a human being, but as nature. She appears to everyone in a particular form. She hides herself in a thousand names and terms, and is always the same.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as quoted by Ernst Haeckel
This work is exploring the interrelationship between the organic and the inorganic, and its constant state of flux. I am investigating the concept introduced by James Lovelock that Earth is a single, self-regulating system involving complex evolutionary relationships between all living and non-living matter on its surface.
I am looking at the way in which a painting can become a relative living structure. The elements within my painting are symbiotic and the subject matter unfolds organically during the painting process through this relationship. This generates a complex of elements that can continue to metamorphose and evolve indefinitely.
This project draws on Adrian Stokes’ notion that limestone is “the humanistic stone,” in the way that it holds a close relationship with the organic world. Limestone has a role in the geographic organisation of human society but is also heavily influenced by the ways in which we interact with it or its surroundings. This dynamic is made visible in limestone because of its physical attributes, which in turn has influenced architectural forms. The colour palette for my work is derived from limestone colouring, and many of the formations present draw upon geomorphology and karst. My subject matter is developed through a consideration of the organisation and tessellation of architectural and geological forms.
I am discontented with the use of the term “landscape,” because it is often regarded as a definite object that can be framed. My idea of the landscape takes the form of something that is inconstant. It is a living organism that reorganises itself. It exists this way both in the evolutionary sense as proposed in the Gaia hypothesis, and also in terms of the phenomenological. Experienced only in relation to our bodies, the immense scale of it leaves the tangibility of it to be minimal, resulting in a systematic unveiling of previously concealed places and an obscuring of others.
Acrylic on unstretched linen