Paintings + Drawings
A Parallel Possibility
Barefoot November 2016
This is not a linear story, each painting fed the next as I progressed but when placed, each together, there is a cats cradle of links between them all. How do I explain this?
The searched for words come forward then fade, lovers, fools and angels pass through and the Second Son interrupts and explores like some colonial tourist. Is there something about the history of a land here, perhaps yes if that means a historical suggestion of living together in spite of difference. After all I am living in a world where difference is manipulated and used for gain and power
This series began when I was looking for a character in Sri Lankan folklore that resembles the fool. A character that can be the trickster, the anonymous “idiot savant”, the joker.
The figure which will say what has to be said to those who don’t want to hear.
I was introduced to Andare and I took him into my cast of characters. He quickly evolved from the known traditional figure into a colour changing, omnipresent and multi limbed presence.
As he met the other common players in my paintings , so the interactions happened in the image, tripping, guiding, holding and binding with his celebratory garlands.
In the landscape, where all is acted out, there appear sharp hills and mountains, an ornamental pool with huge, fecund, sexual, lotus flowers and featuring a large stylised tree bound in a golden thread. It sprouts tangled branches and large fruit with an occasional flowering. It emits golden balls of entwined twigs. I think of this as the tree of knowledge, and its floating, drifting emissions serve to veil the curious meetings behind., could these be things that we no longer can or even want to see or know
Am I painting about willful ignorance, pointing it out in paint like a contemporary Fool?
Is it about the answer, that the knowledge is already there, or, are they just whimsical images which describe nothing more than a fairytale without words?
Looking at this work as a complete body, I see them as a searching for a shared meaning, a togetherness and an alternative to our way of seeing difference in others. The offering of help and knowledge and the acceptance of other points of view, the Andare character binding and leading the disparate elements together with his celebratory garlands.
There is a circularity to my thinking, I keep coming across the answer “I don’t know” to the question of what’s it all about? However I need an answer and without thinking again, I come to this.
These paintings are an investigation of how we were, how we are and how we could live and share together. They are History Paintings
I am the tourist, the fool, the trickster and travel my world in a metaphorical wooden boat with a troupe of imaginary players. They emerge onto my paintings and I show them to you. I have tried and maybe failed to explain the strange tales they act out in front of you, however somewhere in there, I hope there is a story just for you to understand and share.