Contextualise; focus; define; explain. This is what I need to begin to do for my art practice. This feels absurd somehow but I will try to do it slowly but surely. In this post I’ve included some sketchbook drawing, recent works on paper and canvas, and some work in progress. I am thinking a lot about nature and the landscape. I’ve begun to reread Nature Cure by Richard Mabey which tells about a mans recovery from depression through reconnecting with nature.
Despite our science and our humanism, our whole culture is infused with myths and symbols of landscpae and nature, emblems of the seasons, of decay and rebirth, of the boundaries between the wild and the tame, myths of migt¡ration and transmigration, of invisible monsters and land of lost content.
We constantly refer back to the natural world to discover who we are, Nature is the most potent source of metaphors to describe and explain our behaviour and feelings. (Nature Cure by Richard Mabey)
What I find very difficult about explaining what I make is that I cannot be 100% sure of anything, and it seems foolish to make false claims. I suppose some iron clad security about what it’s all about may come with time. Yesterday I was talking with a curator of a public gallery and he advised me not to have an exhibition until I had something to say. I wonder if I will ever have anything to “say”. I definitely need to paint, I am definitely inspired by nature and the landscape. Maybe what I am saying in my work is that I feel wonder about the world. But this doesn’t seem to go deep enough. Albert Irvin says of his painting that it is about a lust for life and a passion for being in the world. I indentify and agree with this.