'Blue Room' 1983
A large still life by Tricia Gillman 1983, oil on canvas.
Work Statement, May 2012
I want a painting to be a place to roam, where experience is layered, like thinking and looking on a walk. The immediacy of particular experience breaks through, triggering a vivid mix-up of time, thoughts, images and sensations. My work aims is to engender this fertile land where the observed, the imagined, the concrete, the ephemeral, can all mingle but remain discrete.I look a lot at growing things. Seedpods, bits of bark, fruits and flowers, seasonal changes of particular plants-from bud to dry leaf. I notice and enjoy the residual phenomena of chance and time. I’m interested in a relationship between the accidental and the intentional and like to juxtapose the “real”, the incidental and the ornamental.
The conventions of still life are never far away; with its crucial placing and relationships between things, on a table, imbued with a sense of the inherent metaphorical “stage” for life. I work with visual and psychological relationships that build among images and between linguistic elements. I use the rectangle as the container for a balancing act, a psychodrama that plays out tensions between equilibrium and precariousness, or orchestrates a love song or a dance. I like the sense of laying out your cards; be they images, decorative motifs, or elemental pictorial building bricks such as squares, triangles or rudimentary marks. Part of the challenge is to maintain the separate and valued autonomy of each mode of reference. I like to try to persuade these disparate linguistic parts and passages to speak to each other, to cross territories of behaviour, and co-habit in a new place, where transference, physical sensation and feeling, take precedence over fixity of meaning or reference.
This mixture-place is one that has flexibility and gives room to offer up a variety of thinking and experience, accessing a psychology of displacement and transformation, ranging from the hesitant and ephemeral, through to the concrete and fulsomely sensual.
This desire for an elastic vocabulary of reference has necessitated an eclectic, and mutable relationship with images and materials. The quest is for a grammar of sensations that accumulates like a map, additive, symbolic, and indexical of touch, feeling and time.