The ecological crisis is fed by our inability to perceive timescales other than the very limited band in which we exist. In our haste, we cannot -for example- relate to clouds, rivers and glaciers as part of a single, enduring cycle. Incessant, dopamine-driven mediated experience worsens this situation, and also hampers our ability to be in the present. Our consciousness becomes a rushing stream, unaware of source and destination.
In my practice as an abstract painter I have explored the way in which shifting, fluid matter eventually congeals into a still form which captures something discrete arising from this movement. In my case this has very often been a state of precarious balance between form, composition and color in tension.
I have been studying a reverse of this situation, the release of energy and form from the very slow-moving condition of glacial ice into the protean form of rivers. Having observed the Dora di Ferret river for more than ten years as it is born from several glaciers in the Italian Alps, I have started to capture its movement through slow-motion film during an excessive melt in the last summer, the hottest on record. Coincidently, the Val Ferret valley was evacuated in late September 2019 with the risk of a 250,000m2 section of the Planprincieux glacier collapsing. These films are the chronicle of a death foretold, telling a story before it is too late, noting the end of a multi-millennial process in our ‘real,’ news-cycle time.
This captured aqueous motion – particularly at points of countercurrent – is now an extension of my painted work. Both practices encompass forces of accumulation and erasure, lifting and falling, beauty and loss. Using both forms -painterly and filmic- I hope to open the viewer’s attention span, to create a new space of awareness.
Films of exceptional storm fronts -the chaotic energy of the climate crisis- recall the turbulence of the mountain streams in airborne vapor, and show the importance of atmospheric edge conditions as productive and destructive boundaries, blending circular and conflictual movement.
My paintings form part of an ongoing investigation into the question of reciprocity, of producing meaning through tension, opposition and balance. Although abstract, these paintings refer to perceptual reality.
They invoke various scales simultaneously: those of landscape and atmospheric depth, and those of close-up, haptic surface texture. They are rooted in direct experience and visual memory.
Each painting is a fragment of an experimental, iterative process, containing many layers of trial and error. The process of paint application and erasure continues until a balance of opposition is achieved: light and dark, colour and non-colour, foreground and background, centre and edge.