This is Our Time

This is Our Time
2009
From the series of paintings, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120cm

The painting is showing a raft which can also be seen as a house, a floating home, surrounded by the sea. There are several hardly visible figures scattered around. The sail and masts are covered with various flags that seem to indicate ‘territory’, which at first give impression that the work is showing a specific location. What seems to be a clear depiction of a landscape becomes disorientating through the appearance of an apparent leakage of red colour, something that might previously have been an ocean becomes an ‘abstract’ and encroaching territory.

The rationale for choosing ‘water’ as a location for the work is to investigate abstract or ‘invisible’ borders and in particular zones that lie between states. In the open sea, it is impossible to demarcate the exact border between different countries, which can create a state of being adrift, being away and disconnected. Ships can be regarded as spaces that are both subject to enclosed systems of power and, through being dislocated from a centre, possess the potential to allow for subjective and possibly alternative world-views.

I am interested in the implications of multiple viewing positions within one place and the possibility of many voices and views of a particular place, therefore opposing the idea of one singular and ‘true’ perception of a place. The work focuses on the development of the concept the ‘state of being lost’ which problematises the release of self in relation to the ambiguity of borders and liminality. I am interested in border crossing as an ambiguous state of being and the idea of self-location in relation to disorientation and immersion through constructing situations in which one is both positioned in and surrounded by the artwork.

This is Our Time III
2009

From the series of paintings, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120cm

What we see is possibly a place where coast meets sea, a land’s end. A place where something concrete and solid meets the ‘medium’ of the sea which is impossible to demarcate, and within which borders are not tangible. The prevailing bright yellow colour seems to be responsible for the disintegration of the solidity of the grey/blue. Flashes of red that encircle the outlines of the branches remind of veins and flesh, colour often attributed to life. The solidity of the land slowly dissolves into abstract fragments.
The work is engaged with questions such as how the understanding of space, territory and identity are closely bound to invention and imagination. I am interested in the creation of spaces that are not clearly locatable, and in relation to this, the role of national borders in processes of the division of power and confinement of identity. I am concerned with concrete experiences of geographic and cultural displacement, which are the result of continuously reconfigured national and cultural borders.

This is Our Time III
2009

From the series of paintings, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120cm

The pale tones of the painting remind of early fresco works. Colours which would, if transferred to black and white tones, be almost un-distinguishable, appearing as one single tone. Once gaining pigment, what seem to be rather similar tones suddenly become different, each demarcating its own distinct area. The cold blue-ish-ness of figures and the silhouettes of the waves seem to be trapped by the background warmth of the pink and earthly umber and sienna tones of semi-shadows. The painting is depicting an instant moment or a single flash of light when one colour becomes another, one territory enters another zone; the moment when we cannot tell who is who and what is what. This refers as much to the abstract as to the concrete borders that surround us.
My interest here is the possibility of drawing a distinction between disconnection from one’s ancestral culture and place and disconnection from one’s sense of self, and what this may reveal of the nature of cultural memory and identity. The main focus of the work, therefore, is the potentially ecstatic state of being lost, not as an imposed, traumatic or non-desired state, but as one that is increasingly desirable, something that one chooses, a consciously and purposefully self-imposed state that can be associated with a feeling of freedom.