Monday, 11 November 2013

Walking the brush...

In the Saturday 8th November Guardian Review section an interview with painter Simon Ling reveals this painter's decision to paint on location and in the streets as opposed to through the use of mediated imagery.

Ling says

"I paint in the street because the texture of decision-making is different. It feels sharper and healthier and quicker. One day, I saw a group of schoolkids approaching and I thought: "Here we go." But then one of them said something really perceptive: "That's live." And that is the reason I do it. I want to make this a live, but slightly shifted, version of the world that has me both in it and looking at it."

His reflections on his painting practice reveal the importance of embodied experience in the production of his work and the value he places on the conflation of the objective and subjective  within a single image. What is most interesting perhaps that through embracing this duality within the work, he acknowledges that what results is a 'slightly shifted version of the world'.

His words echo ideas expressed elsewhere on this blog, that through the activity of drawing, a new or shifted understanding of the drawn subject emerges and captures not only what is seen but what is felt. The capacity for drawing to achieve this was discussed at the symposium in July. 

One question that Ling's reflections prompt, is where else we might find this type of activity- we've noticed it in drawing , where else can it be found? Does 'walking the line ' describe artists who draw on location or something more? If something more, what is the 'more' and what makes it significant?  We might also consider the role of  the medium in the negotiations that the media initiates between artist and site. Wet versus dry, scale are all factors to be negotiated and refined according to site.

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