EARTH IN MY BONES (2015)

Painting is the part of me that dreams, and accessing that part equilibrates my practical nature. This series reflects an internal topography I have started scratching the surface of, a no-man’s land in time and space.

The personal connection I feel towards nature has been a consistent theme in my work. I have been increasingly concerned with people choosing to find differences instead of celebrating the similarities which make us human. This body of work highlights the fact that we are all ultimately connected to the natural world and made of the same elements and minerals. I had expressed my initial ideas through the poem, Earth in My Bones, ‘Breathing minerals and chalk dust, I am rubble, I am silt’.

At first I was drawn to images of stones, crystals and rock strata. However, as I worked, I found these visuals limiting and needed to source a more internalised and personal response. As I reconsidered my approach and stopped trying to impose imagery from the landscape, the paintings began to emerge from the canvas by themselves.

Challenges during this process included managing both varied and limited palettes, working with washed out and bold stains, and orchestrating complex compositions. As layers were scratched away, the sleeping colours I had laid down earlier came into play. Texture integrated movement, created grittiness and established structure. Geometric shapes echoed nature’s basic building blocks and split levels established a sense of sky and ground.

There is a reference in the poem to standing ‘right beside you In my bones, just renting space”. Our time here is limited, and looking beyond ourselvesis the first step to nurturing the world.

Earth in My Bones
Breathing mineral
And chalk dust,
I am rubble, I am
Silt, Copper velvet,
Cobalt - ochre
Strata studded,
Dusted gilt.
Lying on clumps
Of flattened clover
Skin is grass and
Grass is skin
Tracing bumps
Along the ant
Bites, can you see
The earth within?
Channels course
And pulse before
Us, flood and rust
At their own pace
And I stand here
Right beside you
In my bones,
Just renting space.