The following article featured in the St Ives Times & Echo about the current exhibitions in the Penwith Gallery. I found it very interesting and it made me think about my own journey to abstraction.
Whilst I was already on the exploration pathway, together it was St Ives and having my first child in 2005 that propelled me to abstraction and to my ‘hard edged’ bounded style. It suddenly seemed natural for me to abstract from the landscape in St Ives in a way it hadn’t elsewhere. Also, I needed to work in short bursts of time around a baby. I was suddenly bounded – by time, by responsibilities. But in between those boundaries I was free!
And it was then that I realised this was “my thing”. Throw in text and textures and this was the way I was meant to express myself. Abstract art is not for everyone – but it is for me.
The author of the newspaper article clearly believes that where art is purely decorative it has no meaning and is somehow lesser than work with meaning. And of course Picasso claims that; “there is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality”.
I certainly strive to inject deeper existential enquiry into reflecting the human condition and how we deal with the plight we find ourselves in.
I also hope that my work is ‘decorative’ or pleasing to the eye.
My work in the current Penwith Gallery exhibition, Dangerous Goods 2, hopes to fulfil the purpose of abstraction. It is the latest work from my Vessels Series first conceived as a response to the first lockdown of 2020. Vessels refers to the then abandoned boats in St Ives Harbour at that time of eerie stillness and calm but it also has biological and biblical meanings that were on my mind at that strange time.
I’m interested to know your views on this whole subject of abstraction. Do you like abstract art or don’t you think it is “real art”? Does abstract art have to have deeper meaning or can it be purely decorative?