Monday, June 01, 2009
Among several sketches I came across while my mother and I tidied the studio were the crude watercolour and ink experiments that culminated in my first exhibition of works on paper. Appropriating recognisable elements of Sandro Botticelli's famous 15th century painting, The Birth Of Venus, these early pieces started out being illustrative and 'pretty' then quickly became violent, dark and stuffed with symbolism derived from voodoo and my own nightmares. Not surprisingly, the exhibition was titled Venus In Hell and in just fifteen mixed-media works, the rapid transition from pastel colours and empty, unpainted patches to dense smears of reds and blacks, like traces of blood dried atop the surface of the porous, cold-pressed paper was starkly visible.I want to return to these intensely emotional works – and their underlying ideas – again. There's still so much within them that's unresolved, unrefined, and new interpretations haunt my imagination even as I labour on other, completely different paintings. I'm going to hide myself away soon, alone, to get to grips with them.