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ARTIST STATEMENT

Being at war with your own mind is often an exercise in contradiction. The anxious, intrusive thoughts may make absolutely no sense, but you are left utterly convinced, nevertheless. It is odd to think that the mere images existing within our minds have the capacity to exert so much weight upon us, but they do. While the thoughts themselves may not be real, their outcomes–our actions, our habits, our behaviours –are.

 

Using a hybrid of painting and sculpture, my creations are about exploring the power of mental images. Is it the dog that acts upon the image or the image that acts upon the dog? My interest lies in portraying the misleading power dynamic that is formed by the interaction between the subject (the black dog) and the painted image. Often we regard images as being lesser representations of the real world, but here, each scene is constructed such that it is the image that exerts a pull upon the dog instead, dictating it's very actions; the subject, in effect, has become the object, the passive participant, the acted-upon.

 

It is this similar complexity that makes me return time again to working with the black dog. The complicated and conflicting layers of meaning that it carries fascinates me. There is the black dog, a metaphor for depression, that I first came across in a medical pamphlet that was handed to me; then, the black dog–the actual, living, breathing companion, who greets me when I get home; and also, the black "dogs", that each took me weeks and weeks to knead and shape into being, a lesson of patience. In this particular instance, the black dog builds onto the contradiction and brings no clarity, yet it acts as a good placeholder for the "self", which I do not understand any better.

Ways of Seeing, Cult Gallery

18 March 2023 - 1 April 2023 

    

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