Nature VS Art
This week I spent many hours (actually days) in an exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery of the work of Lee Mingwei. In encountering his work “Stone Journey” I came face to face with one of the biggest questions I have as to why we make art? I have always seen nature as accomplishing many of the aspirations I have for my work. I sometimes wonder why I spend years creating a painting when nature is far more beautiful than anything I can create.
I realised in the process of looking at Lee’s work that the natural and the human-made provide different experiences. For many of us being in nature provides similar opportunities to reflect and to contemplate, which may lead us to ponder the nature of the universe and our place within it. Whereas experiencing this through interacting with human creativity brings us to an understanding of ourselves or a consciousness of what it means to be human at this moment in time.
I see my work as being about the experience of seeing. It is about the viewer in that moment of time and their experience of seeing and what that means for them. For each person that is unique.
It is very important to me that this work has emotional resonance. These paintings develop very slowly over several years. The initial layers form the foundation of this resonance, and then the painting evolves over the course of many, many layers, each of which informs or influences the next. There are often unexpected moments in the painting process that change the direction that the work takes and some details from earlier layers that are visible in the final work.