The concept of An Alternative Portrait was derived from a long-standing fascination with the human body’s interior configurations and the potential of these to evoke the essence of individuality and bodily presence (or portrait). My objective is to capture ideas of self and embodiment through experiential and emotive marks and transitions expressed within broad fields of colour.
The investigation references both loosely arranged and tightly constructed abstracted patterning evident in formally structured art and the apparent human need for visual order that pattern provides.
The capacity of representations of invisible natural processes to extend our understanding of human minutiae is evident in the work of Christine Borland who documents decay, and Susan Derges who captures natural cycles in photograms. Other artists who use forms of pattern to express abstracted natural processes include Anne Morrison and Catherine Woo. Both engage the natural world in observations of underlying processes, structures, and natural rhythms and exhibit qualities that I attach to the human body. A complex form of patterning in a systematic approach that is abstract yet superreal references Chuck Close while a strong attachment to process is informed by Steffen Dam’s exquisitely structured organic forms suspended in glass and in the materiality of Dale Frank’s abstract portraits.
The media I chose to express An Alternative Portrait delivers luminous qualities evident in the atmospherics of Janet Laurence’s installation aesthetic and Antonio Murado’s colour-fields.
An Alternative Portrait invites new readings of the body as a site of physical and imagined presence. I leave an audience to its own associations giving primacy to a subjective interpretation.
Authorised by the Head of School, Tasmanian College of the Arts
24 October, 2012