A series of non-traditional abstract paintings inspired by mobile vision while driving through the Daki (Stones Standing Up) escarpment, is presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Philosophy (Creative Practice). The work has been exhibited at the Frank Moran Gallery at the Queensland University of Technology in June 2017. This creative work was produced in response to the disorientation caused by strobe sunlight in the s-bends, bleached out noon forms, inclines and falls where horizons appear and disappear in juxtaposed apposition, and where the past and future overlap the present. The event makes for a compelling physical impact study on vision and perception. Critical reflection, research of current practices and theories, and participation in the atelier classes at the Art Students League of New York led to a series of media and concept experiments. The painting in response is a painted surface first before it discloses what it is, where a number of transparent layers are visible and shows the passage of pigment or what I call the blooming of paint.
While the work sits in the area of abstraction derived from the landscape, it is just as much about analytical vision and perception. The energy and enthusiasm for the project has come from the palpable and intense experience of the local escarpment drive. The drive experience is a series of incursions on vision during this 40-minute round trip. It was one of the most consuming experiences I would have daily for over ten years. It became apparent that I understand how vision and perception operated while mobile, to and from my home, because it was not going to go away – quite the opposite, the event made its presence felt with authority. The research has been a journey of self-discovery and my painting practice has been re-shaped by the drive experience.
The images come by the means by which I preferred them to be delivered – as a driver-car. The project is derived from perceiving the landscape holistically rather than isolating the parts. However to give myself clarity a synopsis was devised to define the difference between fixed vision and mobile vision. From this analytical exercise the paintings are a conflation, a synthesis of the findings in mobile vision to become a single new identity or one indivisible multiplicity. The paintings have sought to make accessible the language of painting to both expand aesthetic experience and make visible how the work was made. The project has accessed direct perceptual experience without reliance on the photograph and has re-formed and rebuilt a painting lexicon.
The experience through the mediated landscape overwhelmingly projected a fluid transition of matter, void, colour and perception. Thus the organic flow of natural phenomena and spectacle in the drive lent to allowing the colours to leak, permeate and seep naturally into the neighbouring tranche of colours across the hard surface. This both softened some edges and outlined others to create a transitory quality of interpenetrating states. I do not feel compelled to subscribe to either pure abstraction or imitative representation, but do whatever is necessary to reveal something of the veracity of the event in a consistent way. It was a fast moving habitual but un-prescribed emersion every day, filtered through the moving car on the road. Ecologically the eye selected details, glimpses at the margins, memory and anticipated features up ahead to accommodate both the challenging escarpment drive and the search for the clues that define the enchantments and the sublime in the plenum. The memory of that which was just glimpsed together with the anticipated splendors up ahead inhabits the present and reveals moments of multiple interpenetrating states. The interpenetrating states leak into one another and as such temporality is accepted as one indivisible multiplicity.