HUMAN-in-RESIDENCE (2017)

Initially I was interested in exploring the condition of an individual residing in a given context and what my interpretation of a ‘human-in-residence’ might be. I soon realised that I had happened upon a meaningful opportunity for personal transformation on and off the canvas. There were some ‘demons-in-residence’ I could consciously tackle; things to let go of and things to invite in.

Prepared for an emotional battle on the painting’s surface, I started with washes of the colours I felt represented the areas I wanted to work on; dark green, dark orange, dark purple, dark brown and dark red. These could loosely represent states such as grief, anger, resentment, inflexibility, judgement and guilt. Reflecting on these traits in my creative practice allowed me to be more honest about them, in itself a step to self-understanding.

As I worked, I became much more aware about how shifting colour relationships can change the overall impact of the work- it is much more than just light and dark- and related this to how shifting one’s perspective in a situation can transform one’s perception of it. Letting the early 'negative' layers come through again at a later stage of the painting was important, as accepting myself in all my colours, is a necessary first step to personal growth. In this series I found myself using more glazes, brushes and diffusers to spread the paint thinly.

Some of the paintings were challenging to finish as they required a certain kind of self-knowledge. To show what I felt was ‘Love’ or ‘Self-Acceptance’, I had to reflect deeply on what I thought these words meant. Movement was another important part of the process. I found myself using different gestures for different feelings and explored the resistance and pressure of shapes and colours more consciously.

Although the paintings are now complete, I am still an ongoing work in progress and a more fitting term, as I continue my personal journey might be “Human-in-Waiting”. As I write these words, as you read them I will be something different. The act of transformation then, is never complete, every painting I finish, every one that I start, changes me.