Vast Exposures intimate folds
22/10/2016 - 09/11/2016
Bruised however the roots run deep
pencil on paper
120.00 x 90.00 cm
Vast Exposures intimate folds
PAUL WHITE – Artist Statement
‘Vast Exposures Intimate Folds’ at Scott Livesey Galleries
I draw attention to the landscape and nature; working from photographs that I have taken, I am interested in imagery that represents the passing of time. In many cases these images are taken on my iphone as fleeting moments, however I delight in the thorough investigation of these images and moments through my meditative pencil on paper process. My practice charts my movement in and around the world – I have selected images from the far reaching deserts of North West America to the intimacy of pot plants in my own home.
I have depicted iconic landscapes such as Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, these locations intrigue me as they are widely represented and referenced in popular culture. As a young person growing up in the suburbs of Sydney these landscapes became familiar through classic Westerns, Road Runner cartoons, and as a backdrop to dystopian sci-fi films. I have visited these monuments now on numerous occasions and this familiarity with them creates an uncanny feeling, almost as if one has already been there, like the physical manifestation of a dream. This resultant feeling of comfort calls into question the notion of home. As well as the personal interest in these locations I am also interested in the epic nature of the landscapes and in the notion that they have been formed through the ages by erosion, by the removal and breaking down of the earth. The vastness and emptiness of them makes one feel humbled and overwhelms the constant stimulus and noise of contemporary life.
Other pieces here document plants and foliage that I have in my personal space. One triptych focuses on an agave plant removed from its pot with its roots in various states of exposure. The imagery depicts it first removed from its pot totally root bound and wound tight, to stretched out with the roots extending in long free form lengths. I am interested in the agave as a healing plant and as a living object that responds and reacts to the environment, here presented in a vulnerable state, bruised and removed from its vessel and ground. A second triptych shows the progression of the breakdown of a bunch of cut flowers devolving from vivid and alive to muted and shriveled up. The imagery reflects on the fleeting moments and the rapid passing of time.
I have also drawn old cars and car parts photographed in a vintage car wrecking yard in Phoenix, Arizona. Stacked piles of various models of Pontiacs – a now defunct General Motors platform – merge with the desert landscape, leaving the image of a road or pathway in the negative space surrounding them. A conglomeration of iconic Chevy Camaros, once symbols of youth and muscle car culture, are now left stripped and exposed to the elements. A V8 engine, removed from its host vehicle and lying on the ground like a human organ removed from a body, and a similar V8 engine that has been modified too far beyond its original format, saved from its obsolescent potential both float against a sea of negative space.
Each of these three suites marks the passing of time. From the vastness of erosion spanning across millennia, to the seemingly innocuous houseplant furling and folding, to an object whose function is grounded in flux now encompassing movement through a slow corrosion in the desert sun.