Visual metaphors. Jack Watson Clifton Fine Art - Bristol - UK 30.01.19
The falling apart of an image and re ordering of the motif creates the foreboding feeling that you get from perhaps a game of chess. The many decisions you make, the way you make them, the moves you ignore and the spaces between movements creates a theatrical performance. I want to feel that the marks act as shadows or silhouettes of the artist at work. I want all the work to feel human. ‘Real style is not having a program - it’s how one behaves in a crises’. I owe this to Frank Auerbach: probably one of the most incredible painters of the last century. This need not be explained but lived.
I think within these ten works of art I have tried to eliminate the borders between feelings of, joy, despair, ecstasy, and revelation in search of truth. The departure from a labeled feeling sets about a sort of pilgrimage for me as a painter, a journey that has no boundaries. A decision to surrender to give up the anxieties that attach themselves to social values, to break free through self-discovery and the therapy in painting.
A lot of these paintings were made during a period where I felt a heightened sensitivity to how I represented myself in my work; this was my crisis. It was not until they stood as a group of works that they all made sense. They are not only from my inner self but also from the people around me. My father was a fisherman for a long time. He inspired the title ‘One's Own Efforts at the Stern’. Through this work I am trying to understand my father better. He was a young man, the captain of a fishing vessel, braving gigantic seas. I am attracted to the idea of an inner and outer storm, of the turbulence and violence of his surroundings and how this was mirrored in his temperament, how he embodied it. Living by the sea I keep this in mind; how my demeanour is dependent on the water. ‘My pistols, however, I always kept them by me’. A quote by Jesse James, the great train robber and villain. I was drawn to this because at first it was simple. But it began to mean a very different thing to me from what it did for Jesse. For me it is not about guns and being a lawless criminal. It means that I always have my guard up to the troubles that come my way. I have a plan to deal with the crossfire of mixed feelings perhaps that may be irrational or destructive. It seems relevant to my own temperament but also the way the human emotions work. Art, film and literature as a way of processing and translating which then, for me, feeds into my painting.
These paintings are visual metaphors. They are analogies for events, times, places and feelings. Each work is like a memorial; the marks, the re-workings and the struggle with the paint act as reminders.