Percolator Gallery, Paddington, Qld
23-28 July 2019
The Hub, Caboolture Regional Gallery, Qld
8 May - 1 June 2019
Hands are so expressive in communicating thoughts, aren't they.
Hands Up is a series exploring gestural communication.
We use our hands intuitively to add to our words, to emphasise, to strengthen emotive statements, or sometimes instead of words when they fail us.
These simple actions are often, but not always, cross-cultural and are suggested here to start necessary conversations about where we are at as a society today..
In the first three I have subjugated my usual landscape language of painting negative space, into a background pattern, thereby balancing the figurative and abstract elements.
The quintyph is a stop-motion gesture telling a story.
oil on canvas on wood panel 91 x 91 cm
“If we surrendered to Earth's intelligence, we could rise up rooted like trees”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours
Asking the question, what do we value? Are we content to let others be in charge of the decisions on our environment, our right of protest, and how we treat other human beings. Or are we going to step up and take that responsibility ourselves.
oil on canvas on wood panel 91 x 91 cm
" There's no greater gift than feeling that you had some impact on the world, for the better.”
Understanding the dual process involved when giving to others.
The hand portrayed is empty, so is it receiving a gift, or offering something intangible perhaps.
And after all, doesn't the act of giving also make one a receiver as well?
oil on canvas on wood panel 91 x 91cm
"Art, like prayer, is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts." Franz Kafka
An invitation, offer to those in need, help for the dispossessed, direction for the lost. An element of trust exists for both parties.
For those taking the hand, it is hope for a way up out of misery.
For those offering, it is hope that efforts are not misplaced or misused.
But only through hope and trust will we survive.
Finalist in the Moreton Bay Region Art Awards 2018
Masters of All We Survey: A Conversation
a set of 5 hands in a quintyph (one work with 5 parts).
finished piece is over 4 metres long x 76 cm high (76 x 76cm each).
oil on canvas
Mankind has set itself apart from the other creatures on earth who all live in balance. We have manipulated our environment and its resources to suit our growing wants, but having assumed that power, what sort of caretakers have we been, or will be?
The hands are asking us to consider what we still have, and in what direction we are going. Whilst scanning across our diverse lands, the work simultaneously moves from our misty past, through golden sunlit days towards the sunset, in a stop-motion gesture.
In the last section, a raven flies towards the setting sun. Ravens are often portrayed as carrion birds, and formerly were a common accompaniment to battlefields. They are also symbolic as messengers: is “Sunset” our end, or will the message get through in time?
(in each section, a small piece of the landscape echoes the shape of part of the hand, as we are yet connected to our environment.
Can you find them all?)
Hand 1 - Forest
shown here with just the hand completed.
My working method is to take a photo of my hand (yes all mine), blow it up to A4 size, and then paint tonally without pre-drawing to about twice that size, then finally place it in its environment.
Hand 2 - Mountains
Hand 3 - Lake
work in progress stage, demonstrating how the lines are left unpainted
Hand 4 - Estuary
Hand 5 - Sunset
Should there be a 6th canvas? and what would it portray for our future?
oil on canvas on panel 91 x 61 cm
"It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise."
Henry David Thoreau
For what do we seek?
Clarity, faith, reason, purpose, kindness, something more than ourselves, or even something within ourselves…...?
Perhaps it is just the act of seeking that is enough without answer; the will to improve, the discontent with the status quo, the impetus of change.