I have been trying to avoid to reveal personal matters in my work. People would notice a strong input of emotion in my paintings, will see the gaping holes, turmoil in my seascapes, but how would they know, that I was also talking about myself. I have tried to give structure to the sea, to cut it into 3, to fragment it, to let it go… A huge amount of paint, a huge amount of energy to reveal… to reveal what exactly? A storm at its best… I have constructed bridges and aligned currents, lined up rocks, did my best to create a bit of order within my seas. I have been fighting between a need of structure and a desire for storms, unwanted dramas, slits and endless currents of water and fluid. When I look back on a few of these paintings, I find myself trapped with no air. And what about the viewers? What did they see, what did they buy? A seascape or the conflict within me?
Over the last 6 months, I have removed the sea from my work. At first I felt nothing, then I denied it all and changed totally my subject matter. I decided that if I wanted structure I better paint the space of a house, any house will present a structure, isn’t it? Bachelard was there to support my thinking with his writing in The Poetic of Space. And, with all the energy I am capable of I started to build my structures, made of canvas, wood, screws and glue. Stuctures on which I decided to impose a division into 3 distinctive elements, yet inseparable. The cave – The living – The attic. I realised that I could build stuff according to my drawings and ideas on how the work will look and be apprehended by the viewer, from far, then…then from close. The closer view was the issue, what will a present within my house, made of canvas, wood, screws and glue? Which home? What’s inside? Would you come inside and share with me a moment in my life.
With ‘A bas l’ecole‘ The viewer is not friendly welcomed, the invitation suggested by the arch line in the middle is amended by the whiteness of the surface which tells you off!
Then I started to question myself about my relation to my art and to the viewer. How could I reveal a bit more without being too much? This a question that occurs everyday in my life, how to be right sized, not being too much, yet present and fully part of a life with others. In my work how to find the balance between the contained and controlled part of my work and the unfolding flow of the images that are staring back at me, inducing each time more memories, more images. ..
Family Matter …for example.
Would see my solid block of memories flying free like air and openness?
I somehow know why I need and want so much the structure in my work and why I am just fed up with it. My grandmother was all in control., a very intelligent, contained person, never a word above another, an art of perfection. She was my dad’s mother who was perfect too (of course!). These two had huge expectations for me. My mother was Polish and totally driven by her emotions (and war trauma), she liked good company and vodka, but she was also very unhappy. Until now I am asking myself: Do I look more like my mother or my grandmother? I ended up Bipolar and a happy person anyway…, not really successful but in control of myself most of the time.
And they all passed away..
I have recently decided to make Bipolar works in order to separate the two poles that are triggering me. On one side, the solid, the real, the known, it is plain paint, it does not allow the light to come through. On the other part, memories will unfold, honestly and freely.
Memories do not come as an illustration, they are paint that becomes shapes and forms but which are remaining paint. They become at first recognisable as a place I have been to or things I have known, then tangible and real, to me and to the viewer. ‘Playground’ was made in the very same way I will have play with water and sand when a child in the ‘jardin d’enfant’. I am confident that now I have found a structure with the juxtaposition of two opposite, they won’t be separated. I trust that not only I will become a better painter but a more happy person. I might come to the conclusion that I am composed by two distinctive parts , one solid, one fluid, and that these two will coexist but never really meet.
Perhaps one day I will rely on my daydream and leave the structure in the shadow.
To be continued..