I recently finished a picture (8ftx4ft pencil and pigment on Fabriano paper).
I have not yet had a professional high-definition photograph taken of this image. When photo of a suitable quality has been taken, I will add this image to the gallery where it will also be available as a high-quality print in A4, A2 & A1. In the meantime I thought you may be interested in seeing how this image developed from a blank piece of paper to the finished artwork. I intend to to introduce all new work to the site in this way. Next, Ghosts of the Future. Your feedback would be appreciated.
It Is Not What You Love But How You Love (2012)
Unusually for me I had an urge to do a self portrait, I think this was brought on by the complicated circumstances I was in and a need to find context, in order to understand where I was, how I felt about that and what I should do. A need to strip back and clarify. I was being challenged by a view which was demanding collusion with a way of thinking I have already rejected.
I began by designating an area to the left of the blank surface were I drew a simple outline of a head and shoulders where the portrait was to take place, I would keep this area clean until I had found the context on the rest of the paper.
As the first character evolved, in indigo and pencil I felt empathetic even though she was beguiled, the more clinically beautiful she became, the more doll like and desensitized. The more distracted she grew the more vulnerable, in the negative sense she became.
The second character began to arrive, reminding me of a younger self, romanticising his role, also somewhat beguiled and curious, investing his future in the present, wanting to awaken or save, needing to be seen.
The first character appears subsumed in the culture of consumerism which she thinks of as her right and she has used to define herself. The expression of self through commodity.A voluptuous doll like artificiality, a passive colluding naivety, presenting as object assuming that this process creates value.
The second character grew to be the nurturer of ideas. Exploring the potential of the other, accepting the cost to himself. Generous, still indulging in the luxury of dialogue and possible persuasion. Although without malicious intent she destroys. In abstract curiosity she is unable to realise the value of that which she destroys.
The context emerging appeared to regard as past, the parochial obsessions with self, the sentimentalising of our feelings and our lack of responsibility to our fellows and the beautiful, fragile world we inhabit.
I fear we have languished too long in this infantilised state. The world is running out of time and we must move beyond the worship of money and objects. Holistic evolutionary adaptation let us gather up our young in nurture, to think outside of oneself is the only route to love. It is not what you love but how you love. If we are not to be slaves then we must not want the products of a master. They must step aside as we recalibrate the way we interact with the world and each other.
The starting point for this drawing was a piece of paper which was smaller than I usually use (end of roll) approximately ft x ft.
I started by drawing the wing line of a bird in flight to make the space larger, then five more to make the space potentialy vast. The curve of the wing also suggested a brow or hair line; in simple shapes I began to construct the character below the line. As I worked, taking great pleasure in the evolution of the character, the theatrical nature of the piece became apparent and the birds became the tops of five masks.
Who are they? A love of physical theatre, the depiction of disguise, the reveal? The frisson, as the characters pour out onto the stage with their shared secret about to be revealed before our eyes, the anticipation. Their mask is an essential truth more visible for being honed, their narrative an allegory, a metaphor to penetrate and overwhelm dull expectation, to stimulate you to your own revelation.
There is only one mask in this picture; all the others are active and real. Falsehood is part of every dynamic, often the most captivating yet captive.
Behind them all looking out at the audience through the curtain is the intent, the reason, the purpose that motivated the intrigue of performance.
As an artist I have trawled through the galleries and exhibitions looking for creative, stimulating, communicative work and have almost despaired at the commercial, conceptual, spectacle that has dominated for the past twenty years. The place I have found the most interesting, risky, radical, inspiring, work has been in Physical Theatre. Pina Bausch, DV8, Stan Wonít Dance, William Forsythe, Marcello Magni, Circomedia etc. contentious, challenging, visionary work.
Art cannot simply be based on hindsight but must contain foresight. Physical Theatre at its best displays foresight. If you donít understand your present and what the performers reveal, absorbing and acting upon it; the active agents of change (the performers) will come back in future performance to haunt you with your failure to embrace enlightened change.
My name is Tadg pronounced . Tiegh.
in Dublin Ireland, recipient of a fairly unconventional nomadic
upbringing. I developed an insatiable hunger for knowledge, my father
referring to me as the Why Boy, due to my endless questions, resulting a
healthy scepticism regarding received wisdom, authority, religious
polytypical and hierarchical systems. Proof was all around me that my
elders were not necessarily my betters.
I have always had a love and affiliation with visual communication, as a boy asserting " You don't read the writing, you read the pictures".
I have always maintained that visual language is my first language. As a young adult I found the disappointment in the human condition devastating.
I desire a humanity described through equality, decency, tenderness and love. A relationship of altruism and reciprocity not parasite and host.
In truth I think my work was motivated by a need to become an active agent of thought. To not be a spectator.
Art can have a purpose beyond the cathartic, illustrative, decorative or as has been promoted recently, the self referential sceptical. My aspiration is to communicate in an increasingly universal visual language to go beyond cultural boundaries to a deeper human level. The audience I wish to reach is not the elite of the art world but the breadth of humanity. I see visual language as the least corruptible and most universal vehicle of expression available to me.
Drawing, to explore thought, to clarify and discover, I want to be able to draw that which I don't already know. Over the years I have developed methods to help free the mind and think without prejudice.
I work at scale to give me room to explore and include the body's natural maths and rhythm to allow an instinctive intuition to free up and open the realm of possibility, to gain perspective.
When working I have no preconceived ideas or preliminary sketches.
I begin following my instinct, seduced by line, marks, texture, shapes which evolve from free drawing. Through this process a theme or subject begins to unfold, in turn suggesting the next phase of layering, Areas may change radically, removing or changing sometimes even heavily worked and developed forms. Layering, changing, consolidating until I run out of the need to alter or add to any element of the drawing or painting. Finally I re-relate the work, highlight, lowlight, colour reflection, perspective, then step out of the image. The end.
Sometimes I use working titles to help me stay focused on the most interesting driving forces that are emerging from the drawing process, these titles rarely remain as I see them as an aid but not a restriction to the potential outcome.
I try to work with the simplest materials. On paper using charcoal, pencil and raw pigment. On canvas using raw pigment mixing and making my own paint employing experimental techniques I have developed to speed up drying times, to allow me to work continuously layering and building an image in translucent colours, building forms as three dimensional inhabitants of the two dimensional canvas.
My aim ( a train of thought made flesh ), a corollary corporeal.
I attempt an honest and valid pursuit of which you and time are the judge.
I hope you are engaged by my contribution and thank you for your time.