White-Out

This piece was one of three that comprised my degree show in the summer of 2003.  It measures about 6 and a half by 5 feet and I consider it one of the most successful pieces I’ve ever made.

I traced marks I inflicted on wooden boards with axes, drills and hammers then painstakingly transferred the tracings to canvas. It was a slow process to build up the cluster of marks which concentrate in the bottom right corner. At this time I was discovering the power of negative space, I think it’s very important to the overall feel. I used white radiator paint around the edges and gloss paint for the vestiges of white on the left hand side of the canvas.

The work resembles old maps,  cave paintings, cells seen under a microscope or a diagram of organic growth. It was selected for the Royal Ulster Academy show that year and sold to the Northern Ireland Department for the Environment. I sometimes wonder where it has ended up, or if it still exists and what the people who see it make of it.

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