My work explores themes of nature vs human through the process and of abstract painting technique. I am interested in the fragile relationship between humans and nature, and how such different components can exist on this world simultaneously. The occurrence of natural disasters is evidence that nature is superior to human-kind. The power of nature is comparatively beautiful yet frightening, gaining respect from those who inhabit it. This related my research to Edmund Burke’s theories explored in his book, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. I also researched the concepts studied by artists such as Myeongbeom Kim, who combines aspects of nature and man-made, and Kate Macdowell, who blurs the difference between man and nature through states of destruction.
Aiming to portray ideas that the sublime helps us to feel part of humanity, I thought carefully about my selection of colour. My initial experiments comprised of complimenting and aesthetically pleasing colours. In comparison to this, my final painting uses unappealing, dull and muddy colours that step away from the beautiful and in to the sublime. This representation of the sublime links to our desire as humans to feel an emotional connection to the world, as well as the portrayal of nature and its sublime qualities.
My decision to use a paint pouring technique to create my abstract piece, consists of the careful mix of PVA glue, water and silicon spray. Looking at Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionism paintings, encouraged me to use the medium alone in order to explore its fluid potential. My technique involved the use of my body to lift and tilt the large board at different angles, encouraging the paint to flow and spread over the surface. Alike Pollock, I allowed for mistakes and accidents to happen. This decision portrays how nature is uncontrollable. The paint pour created earthy, bodily colours that combined and mixed to form a marbled effect with detail only revealed once the painting is closely studied. This method aims to represent the relationship and co-existence of humans and nature through colour and consistency, for its beauty and delicacy.
In order to enhance the depiction and emotions of the sublime, I would recreate this paint pour on a larger surface. This technique would need the involvement of assistants to help tilt a larger board. I am interested in how focusing on the creation of the painting in relation to Pollock’s video performance, (of the creation of this paintings) would evolve my concept into human vs nature further.