“On Glass” _ a commission from NUI Galway


“OnGlass”    1111.1110.111.1100.1.10011.10011

“The function of art is to imitate nature IN HER MANNER OF OPERATION”  Ananda K Coomeraswamy

My work is about transparent layering, about light, about microscopic changes that can be felt rather than seen, about a whispered dialogue with the viewer. My paintings are best viewed live with plenty of light or, if  in reproduction, then on a light box or in a light source like a monitor.

Working on glass offers the possibility of playing with spatial illusions: It becomes impossible to say for certain which plane holds the rectangle or the sign! Which is the real and which the reflected! Or even how much space lies between, if any! The Red on the rear pane advances whilst the Blue on the nearer recedes compounding the confusion and ultimately cancelling out the three dimensionality and (optically) reducing the whole to a flat plane.

So the work takes on a kinetic quality that is animated by the various possible viewpoints. The dialogue with the viewer can take place on many levels and from many angles! My interest is in exploring the many spatial possibilities presented by each specific situation and then structuring them using chance generated numbers (combined with the binary row generated by the title) as an organiser.

The Purpose of this work is to animate the space in such a way that the people who must walk through it every day are given the opportunity to rediscover it and to gain positive energy simply by passing through (effectively) the field of constructive energy generated by the whole process which is (theoretically) woven through the whole by the use of the title as a driver and by the fact that the use of chance is an all inclusive method.

(By using chance to make the decisions, even the choices that are not present create potential energy through the simple fact that they could have been chosen)

the letters of the title are turned into a binary row which is then used as a row of on/off , yes/no answers in response to a series of technical decisions in the organisation and usage of the chance generated numbers used to structure the work.

Layer 1    transparent coloured rectangles placed at chance selected points.
Layer 2    an arrangement of signs and symbols placed on some of the individual panes

Once the scheme is worked out and the structures are decided (by chance) the artist takes off the creative hat and puts on a craftsmans hat to make the work, following the instructions (as if it were a work contract) as accurately as is humanly possible