The title of these works (as of now); ‘A Moment in Time’ – is only temporary. From the offset, I envisioned a more complex and elegant title. I thought that I wanted to come up with a ‘better’ name – however is there any need to be more abstract or cliché just because initially I believed the title was too plain. But as of many of my previous works, sometimes less really is more. I have deliberated over the title, but from just this moment whilst I have been writing this first first draft, I may have actually settled on this simple and uncomplicated title. The pieces I have been creating and still continuously working on will be part of the series; A Moment in Time.
This concept began way before I even noticed as I have been recording these moments for almost two years without the realisation of what I had been doing – until now. I first consciously dabbled with this idea when I spotted the aesthetically pleasing composition of the tea cup and milk jugs, (if you’ve read my most recent post of ‘Tea, anyone?’, there is more precarious details on that particular piece). The crux of it all is, or was at that moment – taking something from the bland everyday world and devising it into something wondrous, something worth remembering. A memory of that specific second in time generating something far fetched and perplexed. An image to remind the mind. A mere speck in the dust of time.
To the contrary, in some cases within my work, there is a counteractive position. Initially, when thinking of the ‘Tea, anyone?’ painting, I think back to the minute of the day when I saw the composition and what it looked like. I made sure to try and remember to paint it when I got home from work that evening. The instant I got home I got my brushes out and started painting – only from the sheer memory of earlier that day. Be that as it may, now when I think back to that time, it is equally the process and the end result which married in harmony. The result being my painting reminding me both of an onion and teacups simultaneously. It reminds me of that moment when I came to that exact realisation as I recited it back to my friend. He roared with laughter as I told him of my misfortunate mind as I recalled the onion. I remember specifically that he was feeling overwhelmed that day and this was the first chuckle I managed to get from him, and it is that which takes me back to a different time. A different emotion. Perhaps, a contrasting realm. A distant and infinite version of ourselves. We have transported to another realm without our consciousness noticing. It is only when we stop and relay, that we be transported back to that precise moment in time.
After ‘Tea, anyone?’, I started to notice various other compositions or patterns that happened to catch my attention. The next composition that really caught my attention was a pot of sauce sitting in the sink steeping. The object and matter on its own is so uninteresting and completely unimportant but there was a pattern that was emerging within the soapy water. At that particular moment, the washing machine was on which happens to be situated under the sink which coherently caused vibrations to separate the different consistencies in the pot. It created a ripple effect with concentric circles growing in size. I didn’t want to take a photograph of this however, because a photograph only captures the image. I wanted my memory to be the main influence. Fast forward to later that evening, I took to the studio to draw what I remembered. Although there was nothing overtly exciting about this certain memory, it was the pattern that caught my interest. Perhaps it was my subconscious need to find some inspiration and awe, because life, for everyone at the moment, is lacking in excitement. As the case may be, I was lost of inspiration and my mind was searching for something to help me create – with it resulting in something that was rather mundane, now in turn is no longer a banal experience. It is a case of seeing a disregarded moment and turning that into something wondrous and magnificent. It could have been a mere passing blink that I would never remember but it is here we approach the essence of my most recent works. My circles. It all began from unnerving and rippling consistencies resulting in a developmental process creating some interesting imagery. It is almost as if I reverted back to my mark-making origins and it is the marks that have came in a full circle (excuse the pun); all the way back to centre stage. From there on in, I started to remember the beauty of mark making. An operation so simple but so useful. Elegant yet playful. It is the repetition within these marks where we can find a sense of ease, a sense of calm to dissociate from the hardships of this life; especially during these tough times. If you’ve read about my practice, that is a definitely a sentence you will have read in various affirmations. It seems that I myself have came a full loop back to my original roots. That is not to say that my original ideas were not there, they just weren’t as apparent due to the change in imagery and colour palette. I may have drifted slightly from my area of discussion but I do believe that this is important to note.
At the time when I noticed these two commodities and created paintings from them, my idea grew into taking something from everyday life that would most likely be disregarded, a passing moment if you will, and then to create it into something wondrous – something that one will not forget so easily. It didn’t occur to me until upon reflection that, again the thoughts and ideas revert back to my previous works. Just because you cannot see something doesn’t mean it is not there. So; what may look like something colourful, bright, wondrous and exciting was once something that I would have paid no attention to whatsoever – just a passing moment soon to be forgotten.
After feeling like my practice was heading in an exciting direction, feeling successful in my observant mind, I started to keep a note of the ideas I wanted to create. Because it was at this moment I started to notice the beauty in everything. An old newspaper – STUNNING! A wine glass – spectacular! A bunch of rubbish bags – mesmerising! I was noticing the beauty and complexity in everything and anything (something alluring in its own right); but I couldn’t keep up with my own ideas. I decided to keep them all in a little sketchbook, mostly in a visual format. It is to mirror the idea of not taking a photograph because I want to keep the memory and image raw, more authentic in terms of my imagination and memory. I didn’t want to just paint the picture of what I saw, instead it was (and is) important to be able to relay the emotions, the feelings of that time and place. Only my minds perception of the now. Not the past, not the future but only in the present.
I know I drabble on sometimes, but we’re getting to the punchline. It wasn’t until I was in the kitchen one night as the sun was setting. I had a candle on and it was a very relaxing moment – something that is few and far between as of late. Instantly my mind went to ‘Oh my, I must capture this moment right now because this is a moment I do not want to forget’. I run quickly to get some paints and paper and as I begin painting I realise that I am basically painting blind. The light is darkening outside and I didn’t want to disturb the candlelight by switching on a lamp, so I cant quite see the marks that I am making. But that’s okay because I didn’t want the painting to look like something, I wanted it to feel like something. Something that I would remember thinking and feeling at that moment, which is exactly how it turned out. When I looked at it the next morning in the light of a new day, I could remember that exact warm feeling I had inside the previous evening. It is rare that I will plan every detail of my paintings, and I think it is important to note this because in day to day life, I am always overly prepared and have every day planned out to the hour, sometimes the minute if I’m having an extra anxious day. Being able to create is a release. A release from the everyday ailments such as diagnosed OCD, anxiety disorders, depression – and the list goes on. It is almost just as important to not have an extremely detailed plan within my paintings as it acts as a way for my unconscious mind to find a way to escape. A way to live just as a ‘normal’ human, even if only for a short while. No two marks are the same in my paintings, just as within this series that no two paintings will be the same. For my work in the present moment, I do believe that spontaneity is key. Within a world that is full of rules, regulations and order (especially within the present time of COVID-19), painting is my way to break free from those chains, for the mind to be explore freely. I am not creating for anyone other than myself right now. And that is okay. Initially I thought that I would try and create the moments in time, at the same time every day but I had a revelation and changed my mind because simply: the moment is not planned. It only becomes apparent when we actually notice that we are merely in a moment of time. It is only when I notice that I’m thinking of this idea, that I must create a snapshot of that precious moment in time. It is capturing a feeling or a memory which will never be again. Going forward I will be continuing along these conditions, not forcing it but counterintuitively being more aware of my surroundings and aware of the beauty in this tough and treacherous planet we call home.
In short, I am trying to capturing a moment in time through a piece of art whether that be a drawing, a painting, a poem; it can be no longer than an hour work. It is merely to catch a memory that will soon be distant. It is to capture a feeling or thought on paper that’ll pass just as quickly as you drew it – whether the moment be good or bad, it passes by an in instant without a blink of realisation. But perhaps the realisation is something only the few endure. It is the endurance of the few that may notice that when our ‘time’ comes, whenever that may be – our consciousness may flow, elevate, dissolve. Our consciousness can change as quick as lightning yet we think that it lasts a lifetime. So what may be we think life is treating us as bad, is only a mere speck in the realm of capacity.