For Those Who Bleed
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Concepts of the Gothic, the Fairytale, and the Elemental inform this art practice.
A Gothic aesthetic, associated with Romanticism, abandons rationality for a darker, poetic and passionate realm. Inherent beauty of the fairytale becomes blighted and unsettling when contextualised around childhood trauma. The elemental may allow for altered states of being as an oscillation between the corporeal and otherworldly.
Such affiliations reference an intertextuality of non-linear, reversible, and fragmentary associations (Barthes).
These paintings explore abstraction by pure identification with intuition beyond reason, highlighting the instability of meaning (Derrida). Rituals of layering and erasure, alongside inclusion of crushed medication in paint medium, evoke a romanticised Gothic view of disintegration. Traces of raw crystal fragments, such as pyrite (fool’s gold) play with concepts of the elemental.
A naïve series of poetry handwritten on fragile parchment, underlines a metamodernist return of narrative to contemporary art (Vermeulen, van der Akker). The child is portrayed as a mysterious entity, imbued with elemental qualities, yet at risk of trespass and subsequent harm.
A bespoke booklet offers a Memento Mori, relating Gothic figures as Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde and Alexander McQueen, beside screen printed fairytale imagery, and implicit desire for the elemental nature of winged flight.