Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TREE-OF-LIFE DREAMING

Tree of Life Mixed media on paper 15 x 21 cm 2015
 
 
Regular readers know I love the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol. Why do I love it?
 
  • The fact that it is age-old and crosses cultures/religions means that it connects life across time and space. When I paint my versions of the tree-of-life I feel connected, not only to the past but to future life also. The power of connection is of paramount importance as we are propelled into the cosmological 21st century.
  • Its branching appearance reflects systems of all kinds, both natural and human-made. These systems lie within our bodies and repeat across the Earth and also the Universe, at micro and macro scales. When I say human-made I mean such things as traffic systems, electrical circuitry, computer chips, telegraphic connections and more.  
  • My quest to untether the tree-of-life from traditional visual depictions, in order to tease out its potential meaningfulness in the 21st century, excites me emotionally, creatively and intellectually!
  • The symbol's meta capacities, I suspect, may help us remember what it means to be human. In an age where scientists, researchers and philosophers warn about existential risks posed by artificial intelligence and associated, maybe symbolic connection will not only save us, but also allow us to forge technological pathways that are even more immensely beneficial for us and all living creatures...as well as Earth and the Universe.


    Whoa! That's huge! Hey, I'm an artist and I can dream....
And, when artists dream they invite you to enter a world of possibility. In my case, my dreams are not without nightmarish dystopian possibilities, but I use the tree-of-life as a beacon of hope and beauty.
 
 
 
Life Calling Mixed media on paper 15 x 21 cm 2015 [SOLD]
 
 
Here's a link to a 2011 post I wrote about the influence of the tree-of-life on my work.
 
And links to recent posts where I discuss some of my paintings combining the tree-of-life with another symbol of life...binary code for LIFE
 
 
And, I enjoy the contrariness of using a traditional painting technology to paint images that reflect upon high-tech aspects of 21st century life and activity.
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

UNSEEN

Unseen Oil on linen 90 x 80 cm
 
 
 
Unseen is the fourth 'code' painting I mentioned in my last post Universal Code

Like my recent painting and post Where There's Life There's... Unseen was inspired by  an article Terminator Robots and AI Risk by Meia Chita-Tegmark. She is a PhD candidate at Boston University and a co-founder of the Future Of Life Institute, a research think-tank focused on mitigating existential risks, including those posed by human level artificial intelligence [AGI]. In her article Chita-Tegmark warns that the real danger in artificial intelligence may lie in humanity's tendency to 'embody' its fears in images and depictions of objects such as terminator robots, thus diverting our attention from the unseen, and potentially really dangerous, aspect of AI: unseen code...strings of zeros and ones. She writes, Evolution has not equipped us to deal with such ghostly entities that don't come in the form of steel skeletons with red shiny eyes, but in the form of menacing arrangements of zeros and ones.

UNSEEN
So...in Unseen I've tried to make the unseen...seen. But, not in a technical way. Instead I have juxtaposed an age-old symbol for LIFE, the transcultural/religious tree-of-life, with binary code, another kind of symbol, which repeatedly expresses the word LIFE.

Tree branches interspersed along the ribbon of binary code, are placed deliberately. Three branches seem to grow from the tree and two others appear to 'grow' from the coil of code. Where does life begin and end? Does code appropriate LIFE, thus simulating it? Or, maybe there is a Universal Code, without time and space, that seeds all LIFE, simulated or not? Lots of questions!

The colours of the tree's roots are the same vibrant colours used to paint the binary code. Yes, it's deliberate...


NEWS
 
My next exhibition is soon
 
Tuesday 21 July - Sunday 2 August
 

I am calling the exhibition
 
CODE
 
Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Keep and eye out for more details over the next weeks.
 
Graydon Gallery is a rental space and it is quite lovely inside, with pristine white walls and polished timber floor. The gallery is spacious and shows off my colourful, and sometimes large, paintings really well. There is ample un-metered parking outside and wheel chair access. Whilst I would like to have a dealer/s, it does not stop me exhibiting. I love painting...and I also love exhibiting. My previous work in curatorial capacities at National Gallery of Australia and in S.E Qld regional galleries means I curate my exhibitions with an 'eye' for how the paintings 'speak' to each other, how the space around them breaths and allows for the paintings to also 'breath' and more.
 
One of the benefits of rental spaces is that visitors can to talk with the artist, as it is normally the artist who looks after the show. During my exhibitions I have lots of wonderful conversations with people. In fact, impromptu artist's talks happen all the time. I start with a one or two people and by the end of the 'tour of the show', others have joined. I normally have a publicised artist's talk too and I am happy to report that these are really well attended.
 
I look forward to seeing you at CODE
 
* The recent budget [Australia] included new tax write-offs for small businesses for purchases of business related expenses under $20,000. This includes art purchased for fit-out etc. If you are a small business owner check with your accountant whether this new incentive [particularly the purchase of art!] is something you can take advantage of. And, if it is...
 
Cheers,
Kathryn

 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UNIVERSAL CODE

Universal Code Oil on linen 92 x 102 cm
 
 
CODE
Code...it really has grabbed my attention. There are four recent paintings to prove it. I've written about two of them Code and Where there's Life There's... And, now Universal Code above. The fourth painting is yet to be completed. You will see it soon, here on this BLOG.
 
The word code is a loaded one. It conjures thoughts of secrecy, war time decoding of enemy messages, morse code and secret service type manoeuvrings. Then we have a more secular use of code that embraces body language, innuendo, sarcasm...you know the type of thing...when someone is not saying clearly what they mean, but seem to think [or hope] others will understand. And, then we have computer code.
 
COMPUTER CODE
And, computer code propels so much of our lives, from daily tasks to major research, from BPAY to high frequency market trading and more. I am sitting in front of my computer, writing this post, and code is working in the background enabling my words to appear, even correcting them. Code is helping me produce and communicate. And, of course there is the insidious aspect of code enabling surveillance, secrecy, data collection, cyber malevolence, manipulation and more. And, let's not forget the double-edged prospect of artificial general intelligence ie: artificial intelligence akin to, and perhaps exceeding, human intelligence.    
 
But, my paintings are not literally about code...I am not a computer scientist nor an IT specialist. However, I do have an IT specialist brother and my Dad is a decades-long HAM Radio enthusiast with a keen interest in, and knowledge about, technology.
 
BINARY CODE
As with my last two 'code' paintings  Code and Where there's Life There's... my new painting Universal Code has a ribbon-like trail of binary code, repeatedly expressing the word LIFE.
 
Here's a very useful and interesting link that briefly discusses the history of binary code and its importance. Indeed, the first two sentences on the siteAll computer language is based on binary code. It is the back end of all computer functioning. very clearly shows how important binary code is. And, what is absolutely fascinating is that binary code's history flows from Sanscrit, to the 17th century philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Leibniz, to people like Alan Turing and Sir Tim Berners-Lee...and the plethora of others who make pivotal technological breakthroughs. 
 
The ribbon of LIFE binary code in Universal Code has a wave-like appearance. But, it appears to be a closed ribbon cradling a pulsing orb at the same time as seemingly 'withholding' external forces. Yet whilst the ribbon may appear closed, there is a tunnel-like feeling, as if the viewer is being drawn towards the golden orb or possibly catapulted from it. This gives the impression that we have travelled, or can travel, through a number of these ribbon-like sequences of code, either towards or away from the orb. When painting Universal Code I wanted to create a dynamic resonance of movement, agitation and energy. The way the paint cascades out from the orb suggests a multi-dimensionality of space...and maybe time too. Funnily enough it also suggests a birth canal or maybe the light seen upon death?
 
SIMULATION
I was also thinking about Prof Nick Bostrom's theory that all of universal existence is, in fact, a computer simulation operated by post-humans re-living existence. Here's his initial paper Are You Living In A Computer Simulation? You can also read more about the theory, with contributions from others HERE. I've previously written about how this intriguing and difficult theory has inspired some of my work. I am not saying I completely understand it, but its possibility is enormously thought provoking.
 
What is Universal Code's golden orb? Some might say it is the Sun. Others might think it is the Big Bang. Or it could be a star, a planet, an atom even. Well it could be all of these things and more. Any one of these would suggest that the painting is a landscape...a landscape of the Universe! And, regular readers know of my desire to untether concepts of landscape from Earth-bound horizons.
 
Or, maybe the orb is the highly sophisticated post-human 'computer' generating code which re-creates, maybe over and over again, in a kind of looping manner, all of existence. My repetition of LIFE in binary code sets up the potential for many looping re-creations! BUT...if we are a simulation run by post-humans, we are neither alive nor dead! Gee whizz that's a sobering thought! But, if we are not a simulation, there's an imperative for LIFE to continue. I did not include the code for DEATH, because whether we are a simulation or not, LIFE is a propelling force. It is a primary force, which axiomatically, includes concepts of DEATH anyway.
 
If we are living in a computer simulation the word LIFE certainly takes on different meanings. Indeed, to reduce LIFE to code provokes many existential questions. In fact, it is an important catalyst for reflection. And, that's why I think it is imperative that humankind pays attention to scientists, philosophers and anyone who thoughtfully poses questions about human endeavour.
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

STUDIO FAILURES AND SURVIVORS

Ripped up works on paper
 
 
STUDIO UNDERBELLY
In a recent post called How Long Does It Take? I wrote about process...the painting process and particularly my kind of process. Interestingly a few artists, who also embrace the 'accident', the 'mistake' and understand the need for 'failure', have commented on how refreshing it is for an artist to reveal the underbelly of studio practice. By underbelly, I mean the fact that success and failure are handmaidens, with all the accompanying emotions across the distance between them. 
 
Sometimes a painting, that I consider a success, is completed very quickly. Yet, it's not as simple as isolating a painting in such a way. Why? Because, paintings don't exist without many preceding 'failures'...and successes too. It's part of an ongoing experiment...for me, the experiment is both about technique/medium, and how ideas might be evoked and delivered.

GRAVEYARD OF FAILURES
The photo above displays a pile of torn up works on paper. For a variety or reasons I felt they were not working out. With some I had walked away, hoping to return with 'new eyes' and Ah Ha revelations of what my next mark should be. Others were quickly ripped...yes with some frustration too! Yet, I know it's all just part of a process. Each 'failure' teaches me something, scaffolding my practice in a reality that keeps me stimulated. Boredom is definitely not something I experience when I'm in my studio.
 
One delightful thing about embracing failures, accidents and mistakes, as part of a normal process, is that regurgitating the same image, with only slight variations, is impossible!
 
THREE SUCCESSES!!!
SURVIVORS
So, here are three works on paper that I consider to be successful, for all sorts of reasons. You, however, may not agree...and that's absolutely ok!
 
 
Life Calling Gouache and watercolour on paper 15 x 21 cm
 
 
As I wrote above the ongoing experiment, for me, is about technique/medium and how ideas might be evoked and delivered. So success, is a result of complex jugglings and assimilations of practical application and intellectual processes, aided and abetted by my emotional responses and feedback loops. Some of these emotions are triggered by aesthetics and others by intellectual excitement that agitates not only the mind, but the spirit and soul.
 
LIFE CALLING
I consider Life Calling [above] a successful painting. Why? Because, I think it is aesthetically quite beautiful, but I also get an intellectual kick out of the possibilities in the juxtaposition of the tree and round ball. It is not clear what their relationship is or means. I like that this ambiguity poses lots of questions. The title provides potential clues perhaps...but it does not give an answer. Regular readers know I like ambiguity and the array of questions it allows. These questions are essentially wonderings and regular readers know I like to provoke wonder, for it is a gateway to....  
 
Another painting Life Calling: Anyone There? might also interest you. You can see it and read about it HERE
 
 
Cosmic Cascade Gouache and watercolour on paper 21 x 30 cm
 
 
COSMIC CASCADE
I also consider Cosmic Cascade to be a successful painting, for the same reasons that I think Life Calling is successful. Yes, there both have aesthetic and intellectual elements that excite me. And... yes, my interest in cosmology, the scientific study of the universe [maybe multiverse!] is evident, but I like to think it is not delivered in a didactic manner that shuts down wonder, spiritual investigations, emotionality and more.
 
This painting 'plays' with perspective, literally and metaphorically. The round balls seem to recede from the viewer into a distance, but are the balls planets or could they be atoms, or specs of dust...or even a history of thoughts?
 
 
Can We Leave? Gouache and watercolour on paper 21 x 30 cm
 
 
CAN WE LEAVE?
I nearly tore up Can We Leave? Yep, it was nearly cast into the studio graveyard where all failures go! This was before it was given a title and well before I painted the white ball or the blue lines. In fact, there's a whole layer of other paint underneath what you now see. This is one of those paintings I left, walked out on, hoping that when I returned with 'new eyes' I'd see clues for my next marks. And, in this case, I think anyway, it worked! I sprayed it with water, splashed more paint around, manipulated/painted a few areas and then I let it dry. I liked the result. I then painted the white ball and felt compelled to put the blue lines over the white.
 
Yes, compelled...strange way of painting? Not really. Compulsion comes from an instinct which has been honed by years of painting and thinking. In this case, it was an aesthetic instinct coupled with lots of thoughts triggered by recent articles about discoveries of potential Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars ie: maybe potential new planetary 'homes. Also, articles about plans to send humans on a one way trip to Mars. And, articles about potential existential risks we humans have 'invited' to the matrix of natural ones.
 
But, can humanity leave Earth? Have we created problems, such as climate change, bio-threats, nuclear threats and more, that mean human life on Earth will be cut short, before we have developed safe ways of escape? There seems to be an imperative to look after ourselves and the planet, to give us time to work out how to leave! The white lines painted over the white ball could be prison bars. But, are they bars across Earth symbolising that there is no escape? Or are they security bars symbolising another planet's protection? Yet, they maybe Earthly security bars symbolising our desire to protect our current planetary home? More broadly speaking the idea of security expresses itself across a plethora of human endeavour, physical, emotional, spiritual and more. Can we leave? poses even more questions...should we leave, how to leave, when to leave, why leave, what are we leaving, what are we leaving for, who can leave....?
 
______________________________________________________________
 
NEWS
  • I have a 'shop' on my website where I have listed small oil paintings and works on paper for sale. And, they can be purchased online via PayPal. The link is HERE
 

 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

WHERE THERE'S LIFE THERE'S...

Where There's Life There's... Oil on linen 92 x 102 cm 2015
 
 
In a recent post In Sight I wrote about an article Terminator Robots and AI Risk by Meia Chita-Tegmark. She is a PhD candidate at Boston University and a co-founder of the Future Of Life Institute, a research think- tank focused on mitigating existential risks, including those posed by human level artificial intelligence [AI].
 
Chita-Tegmark's article discussed how we humans 'embody' fears of artificial intelligence in the form of killer/terminator malevolent robots, often fantastically portrayed in science fiction movies. She suggests this is a misplaced fear, because the really frightening issue about AI is that it's mostly unseen...unseen code...strings of zeros and ones. She writes It's almost like we need to give our fears an embodied anchor or it's not scary anymore. But what is the price we pay for the sensation of fear that we need to nurture through embodied representations? I believe the price is blindness to the real danger. She goes on to say Evolution has not equipped us to deal with such ghostly entities that don't come in the form of steel skeletons with red shiny eyes, but in the form of menacing arrangements of zeros and ones.
 
 
So please read Chita-Tegmarks article  because....!!
it inspired my painting :
 
Where There's Life There's...
 
The painting is a landscape, but no 'normal' landscape. Why? Because it attempts to track the unseen code of life. Yep, that's it! Needless to say there are a few BIG questions. Is this code expressed by the tree, my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life, with all its spiritual, visceral, cultural, religious, biological, vascular-like, symbolic contingencies and more? All those things that propel life and we take for granted.
 
Or, is there another kind of code? If you look closely [see detail images below] I have repeatedly painted LIFE in binary code, as if it is an extension of one of the tree's branches. Remnants of the branch appear intermittently along the binary code's trajectory, until they no longer appear...or maybe are not needed?
 
More questions:
Is the code of zeros and ones attempting to mimic life? Or, is it attempting to replace life with something completely alien? Is its intent to augment life or hijack it? Does it even have 'intent'? Even proposing 'intent' gives AI human-like qualities and this maybe dangerous too.
 
Chita-Tegmark's description of menacing arrangements of zeros and ones does not, upon initial sight, apply the zeros and ones in my painting. My zeros and ones, I think, are quite beautiful and languid. They almost dance across the 'landscape' like a swarm of small butterflies. But, this is where the menace lies, don't you think? Mimicry is normally for seductive purposes and we humans certainly have been seduced by unseen zeros and ones...think of social media, data collection, online buying and selling and so much more. Zeros and ones re-purpose and control so much of our lives!
 
Simulation
Here's another perspective!
 
Maybe LIFE, as a string of zeros and ones, has propelled existence for Universal time? Indeed, Prof Nick Bostrom, has suggested that we are already living in a post-human simulation...yep...that all of existence is a computer simulation! You can read about his theory HERE  If this is the case, then the 'source' of life, in my painting, is the spiral of code feeding into the tree-of-life, which could be 'read' as a terrifically successful simulation.
 
I've previously written about Bostrom's theory in an earlier post called...CodeHe is also one of many other philosophers and scientists urging caution about zealous AI development. As the Director of the Future of Humanity Institute and as Director of the Oxford Martin Programme On The Impacts of Future technology [Both at Oxford University] he is at the pointy end of research into existential risk.
 
 
DETAIL Where There's Life There's...
 
Chita-Tegmark explains, in reference to unseen menacing arrangements of zeros and ones....
 
So, even if we do not feel the fear, we need to understand it.
 
I agree. And, suggest that art is a way of making 'visible' the unseen...not in a didactic or merely illustrative way, but in a suggestive, conversational and playful way, that provokes questions and wonderings.
 

   DETAIL Where There's Life There's...
 
 
Where There's Life There's...
The title of my painting plays on the old saying...Where there's life there's hope
 
BUT
 
MAYBE
The new 'old saying' is:
 
Where there's life there's code
 
Ok ...let's lighten it up a bit:
 
Where there's life there's joy - love - laughter - LIFE
 
I like to think the roots of my tree in Where There's Life There's... hold hopeful clues!
 
______________________________________________________________
 
 
You might like to also read:
 
 
 
NEWS
 
I went to the most marvellous stand-up comedy gig last week.
 
Happiness Through Science
 
I can honestly say this was one of the most passionate, intelligent, inspiring events I have been to in a long time. Robin was meant to perform for 90 mins, but he went way over time...and nobody minded.
 
 
 
MORETON BAY ART AWARD
Here's the painting that has been selected as a finalist for the Moreton Bay Art Award, packed up and ready to go. Actually the carrier has already been and it's on its way. The award is announced Friday 15 May.
 
 
 
Cheers,
Kathryn

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

Works on paper - In progress


I am waiting for a couple of oil paintings to dry before I continue with them. So I have returned to my works on paper.

And, painting on paper is a bit precarious sometimes. When a 'mistake' is made I have to really think about whether it is a point-of-no-return type of mistake or whether I could consider it some kind of 'divine intervention', like a message to disembark from my current journey to take a completely different one! If a 'mistake' is made with an oil painting, I ask the same questions, but oil paint and linen are much more forgiving when it comes to wiping out, redoing etc. Paper and gouache or watercolour paints do not allow for too much scrubbing, rubbing, painting over... and wiping out is impossible.

Given the different level of 'forgiveness' between oil painting and works on paper, it takes a little while for me to adjust when I go back and forth between the two, especially if there are long periods of time spent on either one. The way I fast track this adjustment with works on paper is to just go-for-it! I splash paint and water around, hang the paper upside down, drip other colours and generally have fun. The thing is though, I will end up ripping up over half of the paintings...but I quickly get into a groove that I feel happy with. Mind you...the special watercolour paper I use is not cheap, but I have to ignore that. Why? Because quality of materials are very important to me. Also, the good quality means I can be more brutal with water saturation, heavy handed brushing etc. Cheaper paper just curls up and almost dissolves!

In the photo above there is a selection of works on paper in progress. There are ten here in this photo and another ten or so drying elsewhere in my studio. Below is a photo of paintings further along the process. I have already ripped up a few by the time I've got to this point. And, I will be ripping up a few more! For example, I am not too sure about the one on the top left. It might have to go?

In the photo below some paintings are further along the process than others, but I keep them on view so that when I re-enter my small works on paper studio/room, after leaving it, I see them with fresh eyes. This is a tactic that I use with oil paintings too. Fresh eyes are important! Sometimes I will be unhappy with a painting, but when I walk away and return some hours later, I see things that I had not seen before. Sometimes a painting that had made me unhappy or uneasy 'speaks' to me in a way where I see a way forward. And, yes...there are other times when I just say to the painting...you do really have to go.


 
 
It Beckons [below] can be seen in the photo above. It's the small one in the middle bottom row. Since the photo above was taken I have worked a little more on this painting. I am happy...and the painting will probably be in my next exhibition in 21 July - 2 August here in Brisbane. But, time will tell how many of the other paintings will survive to be exhibited too.
 
 
It Beckons Gouache and watercolour on paper 15 x 21 cm 2015
 
 
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
The above discussion sets the scene for a little chatter about a question I am often asked...
 
Kathryn, how long did it take to paint this painting?
 
A finished painting is actually not a sole expression. It is, in fact, a culmination of many successes and failures over a long period of time. Yes, as regular readers know, many of my paintings have immense detail and this does take a long time, but other paintings are not as detailed and therefore do not take long at all. Yet, these less detailed paintings would not happen without the preamble of thousands of hours of dexterous painting and thinking. With each painting I learn more about paint, surface materials and mediums such as water, turps and oil. A less detailed painting may strike a inner chord with me that culminates in another more detailed painting. There's a rhythm...
 
An artist's oeuvre is like a story where there are highs and lows, quieter moments and tumultuous ones, full stops, new paragraphs, exclamation marks, new chapters. An artist's oeuvre is like a symphony where different instruments create nuanced melodies, sometimes punctuated with points of immense emotion, both loud and soft. An artist's oeuvre is like an anthology of poems, where some poems are short and others long; where some rhyme and some don't; where different 'strokes', such as simile, metaphor, alliteration and more are used to emphasise, suggest and provoke.
 
So, what I am saying is that the question Kathryn, how long did it take to paint this painting? cannot be truly answered!
 
AND
 
One way to deflect from giving a mundane answer about actual time, is to suggest that any conversation a painting may trigger, whether it is with oneself or with others, actually 'finishes' a painting.
 
YES!
 
Paintings can potentially have a multiple of completions. There 'lives' extend beyond the studio and gallery in a dynamic way!
 
 
____________________________________________________________
 
 
UK NEWS
 
Friends have sent me the actual The Independent [UK] newspaper from March 7 where my painting graced the front of the paper's International Women's Day feature. Here's a photo below of the painting and the paper together.
 
The painting is She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him. [Jamieson-Fausset Brown Bible  Commentary] Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2009
 
And, with reference to my post above and the question I am often asked ... you can take a guess!
 
Here's my post from March 10.
 
 
 
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 
 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

PARADIGM SHIFT

Paradigm Shift Oil on linen 40 x 50 cm
 
 
Way back when I was studying for my Bachelor of Arts degree, at the University of Queensland, I took a year long subject called The History Of Science. It was the most fascinating course, delivered by one of the best lecturers I ever had, Prof Mac Hamilton. In his lectures, which were more like discussion sessions because there were so few students taking the course, every idea and concept was intellectually stimulating. In essence the subject was a history of the philosophy of science and Prof Hamilton introduced us to an array of different approaches. The lock-step historical approach, that I was more accustomed to, was definitely not on the cards! This course had a profound influence on the way I viewed education and learning.
 
One of our text books was Thomas S. Kuhn's 'The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions' first published in 1962. We used the second edition, published in 1970. Kuhn's concept of paradigms and paradigm shift associated with 'scientific revolutions' intrigued me, even as a 19 to 20 year old. Over the years I have often returned to Kuhn's book. Taking the concept of a paradigm more generally, what causes major shifts in perspective, that then lead to new ways of thinking? Or, how do new ways of thinking, reveal new perspectives?
 
It's funny how the past sows seeds which may not flower until decades later. Regular readers will know where I am going with this! Yes, my intense interest in perspective! Yes, it's imbedded in a variety of my experiences, studies and ponderings. It is also something I learn about as I work through a painting. The process of thinking about a painting, then actually painting it, not only draws upon knowledge of all kinds, but also produces new knowledge, thoughts, insights...and perspectives.
 
PARADIGM SHIFT
This painting, like many of my paintings, is deliberately ambiguous. Yes, the title provides a departure point, but the painting offers a number of possibilities. The two red circles seem to hover. But are they above, in front of, below, immersed in the landscape-like background? Well, that's up to you dear reader to decide for yourself.
 
The red circles are similar to another recent painting called In Sight where  two red target-like circles/eyes help me play with and investigate words - 'In Sight' - 'Insight' - 'Incite' and connotations of gun sights, camera lenses and more. In Paradigm Shift the target/scope-like appearance of the red circle on the left suggests perspectives gained from peering into a gun scope, camera or micro/telescope... or any other kind of scope readers may think of.
 
 
http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/in-sight.html
Detail from In Sight Oil on linen50 x 70 cm 2015
 
 
Yet, as I write these words 'gun scope, camera or micro/telescope' I have physical and emotional reactions to them...each different and each multi-layered. The mention of the word 'gun' obviously conjures different feelings to the word 'camera' and again with thoughts of a microscope or telescope. However, each thing that the words describe enables targeting. But, as we all know targets can be missed, over-reached, under-reached and overexposed. What can targeting, accurate or not, metaphorically mean? The potential for 'revolution' exists in both accuracy and not.
 
The red circle on the right, takes on a target-like appearance, only by association with its accompanying red circle. If the other red circle was not there, the circle with the tree-of-life inside it, could be considered like a womb or a vessel. Well, it still can, but the presence of possible malevolence makes the tree-of-life, representing all of existence, more vulnerable. On the other hand, if the 'targeting' by the left red circle is the perspective of a microscope or telescope, the tree-of-life takes on a more positive cosmological metaphor.
 
Many commentators, from inside and outside the scientific community, suggest the 21st century is a turning point for our planet and humanity. Existential risk, from things like human-made technologies to natural space driven disasters, is now a serious concern and area of scientific study. We may have a choice now, but for how long...is the 'tree-of-life' vulnerable or not?
 
_______________________________________________________

NEWS
  • My entry in the Moreton Bay Art Awards 2015 has been selected as a finalist.
  • I have again been invited to participate in the $30,000 Tattersall's Club Landscape Art Prize. This is an invitation only art award, and I am thrilled to have been invited again. The award takes place in September.
  • Just in case you missed it, Kirsten Fogg, from The Belonging Blog, wrote a wonderful piece Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox: Visual artist and cosmic explorer about me and my work. I LOVE the title she gave the article, especially the cosmic explorer bit...
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

IT'S EVERYTHING

It's Everything Oil On linen 50 x 50 cm


Yes!
 
-
 
It's everything!
 
Every planet, universe, piece of cosmic dust
 
thought, blessing, emotion
 
Every drop of water, tear, atom
 
Desire
 
Object
 
Non-object
 
Every kind of scape, seen and unseen
 
Beginnings
 
and
 
Endings
 
-
 
Everything.
 
 
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My new painting posed some problems for me. I loved it, but what was I going to title it? I know I was thinking expansive thoughts when I was painting it, but the few title options I had come up with seemed too limiting.  And, Untitled seemed lazy and vacuous.

So, I was discussing my dilemma with one of my young adult children. After playing with a few title possibilities I heard myself say 'It's everything really...everything.' Ah Ha...I thought...there's the title! And, young adult 'child' agreed.............It's Everything


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Can you see everything?

If not, can you see multiple things or possibilities?

'Fly' in your imagination to places beyond, spaces inside. Skit around the peripheries...as if you are playing on the foreshores of the ocean. Allow the 'water' to take you, let the 'sand' swallow you, invite the 'sky' to engulf you...all at once!

Yes, regular readers will know where I am going with this...seeing multi-perspectives simultaneously!

As I have previously written, cosmology is imploring us to traverse new and exciting perspectives of close and far distances. The revelatory nature of dynamic perspective is promising, enticing, seductive...and a little scary and forbidding. Why? It might mean we need to change!


NEWS
  • My entry in the Moreton Bay Art Awards 2015 has been selected as a finalist.
  • I have again been invited to participate in the $30,000 Tattersall's Club Landscape Art Prize. This is an invitation only art award, and I am thrilled to have been invited again. The award takes place in September.
  • Just in case you missed it, Kirsten Fogg, from The Belonging Blog, wrote a wonderful piece Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox: Visual artist and cosmic explorer about me and my work. I LOVE the title she gave the article, especially the cosmic explorer bit...

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com