Colours and shape:
The universe and world around us is imagined entirely by humanity, the colours we see around us are as a result of the cones at the back of the eye, cats who have fewer cones and more rods see a very different greyer world but this helps them to hunt at dawn and dusk in poor light when their vision give them a sharper view of the world around them.
Bats can see fruit bats have quite good eyesight but some species especially those that use echo location or ‘sonar have poorer eyesight, when you research this information you find people saying bats use the echo location to create a ‘visual image’, but do they or is that just us describing this system as visual, a term we understand, because we cannot comprehend or imagine the world as the bat does.
There may be experts out there who would question the voracity of my explanation but what I am exploring is how light which is similar to radio waves is revealed to humanity as colour simply because we have cones which perceive light waves as such. The amount of light, the angle of the sun, our position, the frequency of the light reflected from objects all combine to provide a colour map and with this map and shape combined we produce a three dimensional imager of the world around us.
Here a though, if the only form of life with this vision system is on the earth there may be no colour anywhere else in the universe.
This is the primary reason I stared making my series of geometric paintings they explore a system that allows us to position ourselves within a space, in addition to this it positions us in the present because seeing is an immediate experience.
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht explores this phenomenon in his work and writing, in today’s world where the past continues to invade present because everything is recorded on social media and stored almost permanently it is harder to forget it, and concerns over things like terrorism, global warming and energy shortages brings the future ever closer to us and so today it is harder to live in the present.
Making these paintings is an act which keeps me in the present, I start with a drawing which intuitively develops from a simple shape or form, this is then transferred to a canvas and the first layer of colour is created using masking tape, I have for some reason never been happy with the edge I get using tape and so once the tape is removed I go over the edge with a clean brush with white spirit to give and edge I like. This process is entirely personal and I cannot explain the preference. The colour is then built up in layers to create varied and graduated shapes of colour which reflect the complex seeing process rather than areas of flat colour, but after the first layer of colour much of the work is done without the aid of tape which requires considerable concentration and this concentration keeps me in the present, which I enjoy, but also gives the work a handmade feel which on close inspection reveals the imperfections in my ability to follow freehand a straight line.
The first of these works ‘Laths l’ can be seen in the previous post.