Folded Light series
For me colour is feeling – there really is no difference. ‘Folded Light’ suggests pockets and spaces, fields and edges where light may stream, pool and gather before flowing on – a field where light streams and shadows gather. In the layering and overlaying of liquid colour light and darkness seem to speed and slow as the painting comes to fruition, this process is complete when the painting makes a whole which asks for nothing more.
Many artists have recognised the expressive potential of colour. In the last century Sonia Delaunay said; –
“The new painting will really begin when we understand that colour has an existence of its own, that its infinite combinations have a poetry and a poetic idiom far more expressive than anything else that has ever existed.”
Goethe saw with revelatory fascination that colours stream from the meeting place of light and darkness. When looking through a prism for the first time he saw colours gathering along the edge of the window frame, not streaming through the air, and in that eureka moment he declared Newton to be wrong and thus began his phenomenological explorations of colour. He was also steeped in alchemical thought and conceived of each human being as a little world, echoed in the doctrine of ‘As above, so below’, for Goethe each momentary colour experience reflected the whole world of colour.
If every painting is a world in itself then we have arrived at that place where each is a whole world of possibilities, enlivened and deepened by each viewer. In this mirroring of artwork and self we can recognise the need for a different sustained focus; the focus of the questing mind as we experience art, an art to wonder at. What is reflected of ourselves when we ponder in this way? We can sense our interiority and experience this more strongly. We are of necessity turned back on ourselves with this question – what am I – what am I looking at?
Abstract art asks us to explore our inner self giving us little to anchor our thoughts upon. When one has no anchors, such as tree, bear, house, where does one go? What space do we find ourselves in?
I always enjoyed Philip Guston’s thought, that the painter; –
‘…has two choices: he paints the world or himself. And I think the best painting that’s done here is when he paints himself, and by himself I mean himself in this environment, in this total situation.’
The making of and contemplation of abstract painting is a journey, an opportunity to experience, nourish and explore our interiority.
See some of the work exhibited at the Kaleidoscope gallery Seven Oaks Visual Arts Forum below.
Richard Heys November 2019