another journey into colour

Monday 8 February 2010

It is very curious where this virtual journey into colour is leading, as every made-up colour combination finds its corresponding place on earth…

Tsavo, mixed media collagraph on paper and canvas

Tsavo East National Park, Kenya  (image courtesy of flickr)

The blue sky and scorched red earth give this vista some aesthetic appeal, but without fauna it looks to be a barren wilderness. I can imagine the occasional roaming herd of elephants emerging from a clearing in the trees, or seeing buffalo drinking at a water hole, but there will also be the parched bones of the less fortunate ones hidden in the scrub, savaged by the lions. This image gives no indication of a highway much travelled by the safari-hungry tourists, although a quick search on youtube returns more than enough shaky videos, with the resident wildlife often appearing less than amused. This is still a hunter’s landscape, of man and beast.

[Tsavo, detail]

I am not sure how long I will pursue this idea, mapping colours to a location, but at the present moment it has its rewards, with the added gratification of getting one’s work out there soon after it is made. These works are very small at 5″ x 5″, and are, in effect little objects (but not objet trouvé), faux tablet mementos to places that I have never visited. The larger canvases (the edgescapes) are distilled vistas of places I have been to, but to me they resonate with more distant and imagined landscapes scarred and ravaged by the elements. The farmscapes have their obvious mechanical, minimalist geometry, but on some days I question their formality, they seem too detached from their source. Making larger works also takes up all available space, so the work gets restricted by its surroundings and develops much more slowly. I guess that all artists have to deal with those if only moments – of a lack of space and resources. You can adapt your ideas or your work, but there is always a doubt inherent in that decision, in that it is a compromise, not a solution. That perpetual lack of space issue forces the change for now…