My current exhibition opened last Friday 13th April at the Byron School of Art, Project Space, Mullumbimby. For those that may be wondering where this is, Mullum (as we locals call it) is located in the Byron Shire (Byron Bay area), Northern NSW, Australia. It’s a beautiful little country town with a thriving arts community. The Byron School of Art, or BSA, is a welcome addition to the community and is growing in popularity as it offers year-long courses, short classes and exhibition opportunities encouraging artists to experiment with their ideas. I was fortunate to be selected to exhibit this year with this large body of work on paper I’ve been quietly creating for nearly two years.
Entitled ‘how little needs to be said to know nothing’ this exhibition explores an inquiry into the direct experience of form (the body, thoughts and emotions) and formlessness (silence, stillness and spaciousness) through my daily contemplations and meditations.
With a keen interest to understand the human experience of consciousness I wanted to take the simplicity of a piece of paper, showing up with a brush in hand, and surrender to whatever the moment created. I wanted to just paint and paint and paint and see what would be there at the end of a hundred paintings. So far I’ve painted 70 works, most of which have not been edited, or gone over, but rather completed in one or two sittings, put to the side, moving onto the next. In this way I felt I was better able to stop the mind from jumping in with conceptual ideas of what ‘should’ be on the page, or allowing overt self-criticism.
As the months rolled by I began to see themes emerge. One of them being “how little can I express onto the paper for it to still engage and meet me in some way?” In this way the title ‘how little needs to be said to know nothing’ can be read as a question or a statement. Reviewing the paintings, I realised the exhibition feels like a visual journal, where what started as painterly expression, using the metaphor of a vessel for form, has quietly fallen away. The paint has became thinner, the subject has receded, leaving just spaciousness on the paper. In today’s busy digital disruption lifestyle, I like the simplicity of that.
The exhibition continues until 25th April and can be viewed Monday to Saturday 10am to 2pm at the BSA Project Space, 112 Dalley Street, Mullumbimby. I will be there most days to share the experience and would enjoy your feedback should you be able to pop in and say hello.
For more information www.byronschoolofart.com/bsa-project-space-calendar/
Some more pieces from the exhibition:
The above piece was in the initial part of this series that used the shape of a vessel to depict the human experience of form.
The above piece shows the language or asemic writing I love to express. It is a language that has no meaning and yet brings a palpable experience of energy through my body when it is written.
The above piece is an example of the later part of this series where spaciousness became the main expression and simplicity of colour was applied in thin washes of paint.