PAINTING AS A CONCEPTUAL LANGUAGE
From the very beginning my work in fine art needed to identify my role as a painter and help me learn more about how my work as a female artist is positioned. My first step was to study the legacy of art history through the lens of my professional identity and then to affirm the substantive point of view of womanhood.
My painting utilizes textile fabrics, sewing media and paint media to witness the legacy of women’s labor and thereby offer a resistance to the impositions of formulaic linear development. Art making in the mirror of its histories and later modernities has evolved as an associative open source network. An opportunity to remake the stasis of tradition with ideas of wildness and, in visual terms, depict a filigree of fine detail to challenge the nostalgia of brutalism.
My current work in 2019 utilizes a mix of paint media, subject matter and source material – directly associated with modernity and art history – to represent explicit periods of time and geographical location.
The legacy of pattern structure is also important for two reasons, firstly to provide an architecturally stable visual space and secondly as an anchor point. The universality of pattern language demonstrates a shared experience of making, labor and consuming.
Visual transit and exchange migrating freely one country to another. It seems to me that material transitions such as this are increasingly important for their capacity to embody commonality and authenticity. The predominance of geometric abstraction in the depiction of pattern language can be argued to transcend the assumption of insularity. The focus of my painting research helps to differentiate the distinct ‘iconic’ identity of each painting and brings a purposeful continuity across the entire series and, hopefully, enables the singular intent of each work to be clearly resolved.
Phil Gatenby in response to my artist statement text, 2019