new journey of thought
Your work explores the process of ideas coming to life, how do they come to life?
I believe every idea, no matter how vast or modest, has a life of perhaps 3 stages – the inception, the realisation and what I like to call it’s resonance. The inception is the beginning of an idea, that one single thought. The realisation is the process of understanding and developing that idea further, and the resonance is the end result that hopefully hasn’t destroyed the idea.
You’ve used matchsticks to symbolise ideas. Why?
A matchstick is small, humble and fragile, just like an idea. You can have hundreds of them, thousands of them, but they will each have a life of its own and a window of opportunity before they fade. The life of a matchstick is as simple or complex as that of an idea, and it follows the same process of inception, realisation and its resonance.
How does this process relate to the life of a matchstick?
The inception is the beginning, an unburnt match that is pure, unaffected and clean. But strike it and the process of change has begun sparking new life with the element of flame. As it burns down it creates charcoal which in turn produces an acrid smell and smoke – a further three elements are brought to life. Change alters its form forever and this is the stage or realisation. Finally when the flame, smell and smoke disappear it has changed to a state that is unique and permanent, this is its resonance.
Do states of change interest you?
The way that change occurs is completely unpredictable and I find that interesting. A hundred burning matchsticks will each change form in different ways, just like every idea sparks a unique journey of thought that can change constantly. States of change continue to be intriguing from the first stage to the last.
Similarly with paint, paint will never behave the same way twice, these happy accidents are vital. That is not to say that the accidents are random, you have to place yourself in a state where you’ll be receptive to these changes.
What stage of an idea’s life do you find most exciting?
Each stage has qualities that excite me. The inception of an idea is so small and modest but has this wonderful sense of possibility that I find promising and true. As a creator, the realisation is exciting because your imagination has complete freedom to explore and every direction you take is instinctive. The resonance is the point where your idea is truly brought to life, and the thought of reaching that point should excite anyone.
Resonance suggests completion, but can an idea ever be finished?
It can when you communicate your ideas through painting. Every painting/work begins from a blank page and an idea, but that idea soon takes on a life of its own and goes through many states of change. Eventually you are left with a finished work that has its own unique story. That is resonance. But although it’s finished, every painting is really just another starting point for a new idea or a new journey of thought.
How do you want the viewer to react to your work?
Every matchstick is an explosion of thought big or small with new elements, altered states and processes, and if different conclusions are reached that is a good thing, you have at the very least suggested a dialogue, direction or path of thought. Perhaps the journey of thought between the artist and viewer draw a parallel to each other.
Do you believe in stages for the life of an artist?
They would probably be the same three. There’s certainly a beginning but I suppose an artist is always in a state of realisation, always in the process of change, never using other people’s benchmarks always creating their own. But should we try to be good painters or good artists? The real resonance only comes after a lifetime of work.