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White-Out

This piece was one of three that comprised my degree show in the summer of 2003.  It measures about 6 and a half by 5 feet and I consider it one of the most successful pieces I’ve ever made.

I traced marks I inflicted on wooden boards with axes, drills and hammers then painstakingly transferred the tracings to canvas. It was a slow process to build up the cluster of marks which concentrate in the bottom right corner. At this time I was discovering the power of negative space, I think it’s very important to the overall feel. I used white radiator paint around the edges and gloss paint for the vestiges of white on the left hand side of the canvas.

The work resembles old maps,  cave paintings, cells seen under a microscope or a diagram of organic growth. It was selected for the Royal Ulster Academy show that year and sold to the Northern Ireland Department for the Environment. I sometimes wonder where it has ended up, or if it still exists and what the people who see it make of it.

Here are five more minimal works, made around the same time as those in post 50: (https://johnmacormacart.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/50th-post-5-minimal-works/)

These fragile, loosely titled works are on paper and card. The first three are quick experiments and the fourth and fifth are composed of debris from other pieces lying around my studio held together with glue. I find that like sketchbook works, these pieces are freer and not laboured as ‘finished’ pieces can often be.

Dripped gloss over black

white gloss on black

Deep blue with pink

blue over pink

Mask on black with drips

mask

Worn paper on card

minimal composition with bin symbol

Globe within square

world within a square

page 1

page 2

These pages are from a 2005 A3 sketchbook and involve diluted ink, gloss paint and collage. The shape in the top right of the above page resembles a fat spider.

page 3

page 4

The shadowy figures in the pages above were achieved by working over plastic toy soldiers.

detail:

detail

 

This piece is from a series made in 2004, again employing the tracing maps technique. I decided to upload it today as I was enjoying the delicate marks made by bicycle tyres on the frozen concrete as I carefully cycled to Belfast this morning. The title was inspired by the Red House Painters lyric “the open drapes look out on frozen farmhouse landscapes” from the melancholic, sparse and beautiful song Have You forgotten.

90x90cm

 

This piece is from a few years ago when I was less confident with colour. I used household gloss and acrylic paint applied at varying thicknesses, then scratched back into the layers.  I think parts of it work and display evidence of the ‘struggle.’

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