Portrayed in my artworks is what I consider to be the most significant battle of this lifetime; that between the natural environment and the ever-expanding technological world. It is a war existing without and within, transpiring in the outer physical world, as well as the internal, consisting of the psyche and spirit. The altering influence of technology is widespread.
My artworks are symbolic self portraits that bring to light this complex state of existence, attempting to both depict the current states of what is materializing around me and addressing the transformations occurring within. Painting and drawing are both exceptional personal endeavours and perhaps they are also a means of fighting back, to reclaim my true nature and that which is intrinsic.
THE SELF AT SEA
The experience of being on a sailboat, for me, evokes a boundless freedom of spirit. Away from the solid land, being reacquainted with the immeasurable sky above, and reminded of the transformative forces of the shifting waves below, along with the pure white sail and deck illuminated by a brilliant light, I feel vitalized and free of limitations.
In this painting the boat is surrounded by a quiet, mysterious fog. Its position and relation to land become unclear. Yet once the eyes settle on the sailboat, that is reinforced by the geometric shape of the triangle, it becomes a foundation of strength. The triangle when upright can be seen to symbolize an ascension from the base-ground of life to the great clarity achieved at its peak.
Symbolically this work portrays the ongoing struggle to attain liberation in spirit while simultaneously navigating the realties of the material world.
In this seascape image I have replaced seagulls with pointer cursors that I use every day enquiring into the knowledge available on the internet. The title of this symbolic painting is simply Search. It alludes to the benefits of technology in respects to learning, and access of information, as well as its ability to lure one away from their true nature, through distractions and encouraging compulsive behaviour. The cursors fade in and out of an enigmatic field of mist that hovers above the sea.
ENTERING THE CLOUD
Situated on the upper floors of an apartment building, my view consists mostly of what exists above the horizon line, an expansive mural of clouds, an arena for birds. In this painting I have represented a flock of birds as pointer cursors, that symbolize technology, and they are depicted entering into a realm of clouds representing the future that is taking shape. I consider cloud computing or the possibility of geoengineering, as examples of influential pushes into new territories that will produce largely unknown outcomes. The future represents great potential. It is full of hope while simultaneously the potential dangers to our world by virtue of technology escalate. The strong contrast and hot colour palette express my emotional turmoil and anxieties, mixed with a never ceasing dream of an emergence into greater light.see the process video
There lives in me a sun bleached memory that will never go dim. As a child I spent a lot of time in the country on my grandparents’ farm. Being a middle child, I often requested that my parents leave me there, as I preferred solitude and the country over our family home in the city. This epitomized my desire for a more fitting habitat, one that more importantly comprised of the natural environment. It was a ‘home’ that was more suited to my own personal nature. During my stays on my grandparents’ farm I always engaged in a symbolic ritual of leaving and return home again. I would start the early part of the day around my grandparents’ home, and then in the evening, when my grandmother gave me the signal, I would set out on a journey to the end of the property, to collect my grandfather for dinner. Invariably the journey would seldom be a direct path, but instead involved frequent meandering as I was preoccupied with inner fantastical adventures. I believe the essence of a journey is that the arrival at the intended destination is never predictable nor necessarily guaranteed. Being in nature requires embracing greater mystery. I never take for granted how special it was to grow up on a farm, as I believe the opportunity is becoming more uncommon. In this painting I have chosen to use a popular icon for home, recurrent in computers and other technological devices. The painting symbolizes my ongoing search for a connection with nature in an increasing technological world.
Trees have a restorative quality that I consider invaluable. In Canada I lived near the temperate rainforests of British Columbia. Rainforests are responsible for nearly one third of the worlds oxygen production. At the present time I reside in Poland beside a primeval forest, having centuries of growth without disturbance, and it is rich with fauna and flora. There was one extremely hot summer day in particular this year, and I needed to get my daughter outdoors. We found relief under the cooling roof of the forest. It became undeniably clear to me that day that the earth would become even hotter as the number of trees are reduced. We are in dire need of their well being in order to survive. Trees nonetheless, have been here before us and will continue even once we are gone.