Participating Artists

LEIGH PEARSON – Ab Imo Pectore – Love Stories from Byron Bay

Hosted By 19 KAREN

March 27th - April 24th, 2010

ARTIST STATEMENT – AB IMO PECTORE : Love stories from Byron Bay

I paint what I am compelled to paint.  My subjects choose me.  Their stories unfold, revealing and concealing different facets of themselves as the painting emerges on the canvas.  Sometimes I feel like an observer, other times a facilitator.  By the time I complete a painting, I feel an intimate connection with the beings in my canvases, seeing them through their many moods and incarnations; we suffer and struggle together, united in our quest for resolution. In this way, my works emerge from the subconscious.  I may begin with an idea, but that is invariably subsumed.  Each work is directly informed by its predecessor. Thus, the story emerges, developing and morphing from piece to piece.  I work quickly until I have resolved the composition, painting, drawing, painting, erasing and painting again, layer upon layer.  It is only upon completion of a painting that I make a critical analysis, occasionally finding myself confounded and intrigued by what has emerged. These paintings explore attraction – the invisible pull that draws two beings together, the energy in the space between those beings – whether teapot and cup, or, in the case of these works, lovers, would-be lovers.   There is something dangerous in these liaisons.  There is a tension, a drama, kinetic energy, potential heartbreak.  I am intrigued by the nature of the attractions and connections.  They defy logic.   I paint what can be felt but cannot be explained by logic.  I want to capture the essence of those feelings rather than describing the event itself.

The lovers inhabit their own world. The ‘landscape’ in the paintings belongs to another world – a parallel world? A dream, perhaps?  While the troubled skies may belong to another world, they seem to reflect something of the mood in the lovers’ world.  The tie, collar and cuff in my paintings are symbols of the working man – the tie perhaps a little intrusive, stridently making its presence felt. The woman, however, frequently appears naked, her vulnerability evident.  She is often incomplete, dissolving, unable for some reason to be fully available.

Other symbols – parts of wedding vows, Latin words, hands and haloes appear and disappear, often becoming obscured under new layers of paint.  Though perhaps not visible, their presence is felt.  They are an integral part of the story in the same way that our own personal histories are of ours.  Recently acutely aware of the finite nature of life, I see that each and every event in our lives is constrained by time. The clock is always ticking.  Didactic, it controls our lives.  Clocks appear and disappear in my works.  Often only fragments remain, numbers here and there – ever-present reminders of our mortality.  My lovers play out their roles, their own mortality both a catalyst and a conscience.

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