Grottesque 2012-

Dunlop Art Gallery exhibition touring 2018-2020

(tour includes Museum London in London, ON, St. Mary’s University Art Gallery in Halifax, NS and Estevan Art Gallery, SK…)

These paintings look at the immeasurability of coherent sensations inside bizarre labyrinths. My passion is how synaesthesia might provoke a mesmerizing state that could help survive beneath the earth. Perhaps it would over-ride unsavouriness to induce pleasure. I immerse my studio practice, just like a good tango or opera (both Baroque art forms), inside unexpected twists and turns that stimulate stirring plots.

Gazing Pond Chamber

This is a ruminative space underneath many interconnected vaulted ceilings. It shows a reflecting pool tucked within an extravagantly decorated cave (lined with undersea exoskeletons) that hides deep below ground. My curiosity concerns how the macabre beauty of a seashell-filled garden grotto might affect survival if visits become permanent.

09BP Gazing Pond Chamber 2018
gouache on paper, 8 x 18′, 2018

 

Cavernous Sun Parlour

This is a contemplative spot in which dripping stalactites reflect the sun’s rays squeezing through above a blooming bush.  Symmetrical grotesques of knarled kntting become half-submerged statuary alongside floating step-stones. Beneath these, water replaces lawn, moisture seeps into air and oozes up walls to nourish the greenery unseen.

cavernous-sun-parlour-aa
gouache on paper, 8 x 18′, 2016

 

Buried Dance Pavilion

This is a performing room made of luxuriously encrusted architecture. Walls have embedded crystals, fist-sized gemstones and exotic shells – all with uncanny resemblance to human parts. It is a place for spectacular, orchestrated and pleasurable movement, so columned arches and passageway glimpses evoke the structure in full swirl.

20150111-DSC_0429
gouache on paper, 8 x 18′, 2015

 

Subterranean Day Spa

This ceiling drips stalactites towards an uncertain watery abyss that both reflects and submerges grotesques.  Shadowy passageways disrupt the tableau.  Openings at the end of each passageway lead into Buried Dance Pavilion.

gouache on paper, 8 x 20′, 2013

 

Entrance to an Underground Riding Academy

This work shows a chamber surrounded by dark moist corridors, each framed by coruscating columns that mirror each other.  The centre foreground holds a column made from knotted bundles resembling caryatids.  Each tunnel leading from these exits into Subterranean Day Spa.

gouache on paper, 8 x 20′, 2011

photographer: Robert Barrow