Archive for April 3rd, 2012

Archaeology is the peeping Tom of the sciences. It is the sandbox of men who care not where they are going; they merely want to know where everyone else has been.

Jim Bishop
   Maybe I fit into the quote above from the  late journalist Jim Bishop and maybe that’s why the idea of incorporating archaeology into my work, as I have done with my Archaeology series over the last few years, has been so appealing to me.  The idea of diverting our eyes from where we are headed to instead see where we have been, to examine those things which have shaped us as we stand now, is indeed intriguing to me.  We are the products of our past and where we are headed is often determined in the how and the why of the past.  Unfortunately, and to our detriment I fear, we often fail to look back and, as a result, are continually reliving  pasts that could and should  have been avoided.
This thought is definitely behind the title of this new piece, Archaeology: Formed in the Past, a 10″ by 16″ painting on paper.  I see the central Red Tree here as being formed and twisted by the artifacts below the surface, remnants of the past.  The trees in line behind stand  like stoic witnesses to this history.  The artifacts contain tools and toys, books and bottles, shoes and other items of the everyday– the things that make up a life and a world.  There is also evidence of the creative side of life here– a painting, paint brush, a drama mask, a ukulele and an artist’s mannequin. 
It’s always interesting to look at these pieces after finishing them and to see how they come together to offer up some sort of narrative in the collection of artifacts.  Interesting because I don’t really think about how the items will interact as I am painting.  No forethought at all really.   They’re just painted in rhythm as they come to mind, often just because a shape or form fits at the moment.  So when I see the commonality of thought and narrative  running through them, I wonder what the source might be. 
Is it just a reflection of my own psyche and interests? 
Perhaps.  Probably.  But even so, there’s something somehow compelling in sifting through the debris, even the debris of one person’s mind.

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