The expression of water as the most important chemical compound in the entire earth system. There are many levels of creation within my artistic process, the first strives to drench the canvas with colour, and relies on an element of chance to dictate the image. Water is essentially colourless, with a slight blue tint which increases with depth to the degree that it can appear black, its symbolic colour within the Chinese theory of five elements. Splashes of all the hues of blue were rained, dripped and splattered with great speed and intensity onto the canvas, replicating the forces of nature itself. Direct tracings of nature were introduced in the form of leaves and vegetation as brushes, acknowledging the importance of water for the development and nourishment of life. Then for a prolonged period the work was heavily edited to bring back control of the final image, by slowly enhancing elements and forms of interest, and carefully obliterating marks superfluous to its overall harmony.
This artwork builds on the scientific investigations of Leonardo Da Vinci, and the inspirational underwater landscape photographs of Susan Derges. There is a long history of art referencing water in its many states and the ancient Greeks considered it one of the four elements and celebrated its power of transition, as the only known substance which can naturally exist as a gas, liquid and solid. Water is a primordial substance which has existed in its liquid state on earth for more than 3.8 billion years and was initially produced as a byproduct of star formation and the emissions of ancient volcanoes. Water vapour in the form of clouds, consists of only 0.001% of the water on the earth but swirls and consistently covers 50% of its surface, essentially echoing the Yin Yang symbol. Despite its small amount, water vapour has a huge influence on the planet as a powerful greenhouse gas influencing the Earth’s weather and climate. The perpetual motion of small-scale eddies to global motions of the wind belts contrast with the apparent permanence of the oceans, which themselves cover 70% of the earths surface, and constitute 95% of Earth´s water. The kinetic difference in the movement of water on the micro and macro scale may appear random, but even the ocean is in constant flux and part of a well ordered circulatory system striving for balance. In the frozen form of water, the cryosphere is also a dynamic system with glaciers and sea ice in constant motion, and timescales from days to millenia which record climate change on the short and the longer-term.
When an earthquake strikes, seismic waves radiate from the focus to the epicentre. Ripples on a pond become the path of a tsunami, vibrating and oscillating with its progression over the extended ocean of the painted surface. The Native American Indians of North America considered water to be a symbol of life as an elemental, fundamental building block of life. Symbiotically, in the form of natural disasters, it has the power to destroy communities.
Remembering the ´Rainbow Splashes´ series of photographs of the artist Andy Goldsworthy, condensed water in the air refracts sunlight to form multicolour miracles of rainbows. As a celebration of all the perceived colours of water, the outward migrating ripples on the painting intersect with isobars of weather formations, transcending into a feast of interconnecting coloured lines.
An explosion of new information about Landscape and the earths processes; from contemporary science, satellite information and emerging technologies, suggests the development of a Scientific dimension to Landscape. It is the expression of a different way of seeing; from inside the atom, to social media networking and real time reporting. In a world of immediacy and information overload, the artwork is old before it is exhibited. Incorporating scientific imagery into the artwork further distillates and enhances the final painting into an abstracted landscape. Two punctums evolved, essentially as a response to the chemistry of water with its signatory, two hydrogen molecules. Then the straight horizon lines, crossing and mapping the surface, coagulated in reference to the singularity of the oxygen molecule.
Instead of being site or event specific, the artwork expresses the landscape of water in its entirety, acknowledging all of the dimensions of its existence. Essentially it is a homage to its unifying presence in our own bodies, in the nourishment that sustains us, in the landscapes which we inhabit, in the oceans which surround our continents, in our solar system, and ultimately in existence itself.
The painting process was recorded in a short video accompanied by the inspirational music of Yolanda Brown.
It was created in a studio designed and constructed by the artist, within a natural park in Mallorca in 2012.