Even When I Thought I Knew (2022)
"If you put in years, you realize how little you grasped at the start, even when you thought you knew." - Rebecca Solnit
I found the quote above powerful and intriguing. It put into words a feeling I had but never explored. Some years ago my understanding of myself and my world, what I wanted to do and what I thought I could do, was very different to what it is now. Knowing is a major factor in understanding, but what happens when that knowledge is incomplete or incorrect? Does the passage of time reveal what we believe to be true or does it depend on our capacity to change and grow?
Ideas and emotions determine my painting techniques and colour choices. Initially I felt that my multi-layered process of masking and revealing colour and using a soft palette, could express my ideas about the known and unknown. I was also interested in creating a tension between simple and busy areas. However, on the larger canvases, I found myself making dramatic, sweeping strokes with stronger colours.
Working through this series it dawned on me that retrospection can be both a blessing and a burden. At every stage, naivety, denial and the choices we have or don't have can affect our understanding and behaviour. Even today, when I think I know more, my future self will probably reflect on a bigger picture I cannot yet see. The important difference now is that even if I am not always sure of the world, I am much more sure of myself. Beyond fact, experience and wishful thinking, lie imagination and my desire to know and grow. The magic doesn't lie in the knowing, it lies in the looking for and this series celebrates that.