Splitting Image

An exhibition in two geographically separate locations. Upstairs@Bamboo (JHB) & DUT Gallery (Durban)
November 2012

This body of work explores the notion that our experience is mirrored elsewhere by other unknown persons. The works allude to the fleeting realisation that, in certain moments, we share a connection with strangers who are having a similar experience. Thus the show suggests a twinning of sorts and references the concept of a doppelganger.

The show consists of 30 pairs of paintings. While the paintings in each pair are essentially identical, the individual works do differ slightly. The pairs were split and exhibited in geographically separate locations. The two shows opened simultaneously, and the audience was made aware of the fact that there was another almost identical exhibition happening elsewhere, thereby actualising the feeling of mirrored experience.

The geographical splitting of the works also references the idea that while two people might be looking at exactly the same image, their perception of that image will differ, and one can never fully know the vision of the other.

The work is created using a process of layering light gesso on top of dark gesso to create a controlled surface in which the dark layer sits just beneath a thin light skin, and thereby alludes to a metaphorical weight beneath the surface of things.
The images are created by sanding or etching through the thin top layer to reveal the dark gesso beneath. 
Conceptually my work is about excavation; this is reinforced by the removal of the surface to create the image.

Because gesso was used in icon painting and as a traditional Renaissance ground, it can be seen as a hallowed surface. By cutting into or scarring this surface, I try to investigate not only the conceptual issues of unearthing my past, but also the traditions of western painting under which I have studied.

The Jealous Curator