Sacred Geometries

Wel­come to my lat­est endeav­our. I’m switch­ing it up again. What fol­lows is a col­lec­tion of paint­ings I call the Sacred Geome­tries. They are on dis­play at the Kent Farn­dale Gallery, Port Per­ry, for the month of February.

With Geo­met­ric Abstrac­tion the pos­si­bil­i­ties seem infinite.
My one con­stant is the tech­nique. I draw each piece on a wood pan­el, cut the design and then stain it- the cuts pre­vent the stain bleed­ing through the grain.

The first piece in this series was based on a floor pat­tern in the Sis­tine Chapel.

Gospels 30“x30”

GOSPELS” is a sym­bol­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the rela­tion­ship of the Apos­tles to Jesus and the world. Jesus is the cen­tre and his influ­ence touch­es all the apos­tles and the mes­sage and life- force flow around and out into the world.

It wasn’t until I had cut the design that I real­ized my flow doesn’t flow. The move­ment is trapped in the moment. That’s a com­ment. But I didn’t set out to make it.

CREATION” evolved from an ear­li­er draw­ing. The halfway switch in the pat­tern caus­es the image to flick­er as if it’s turn­ing. I think of it like it’s a tun­nel-dig­ger or a min­ing tool, grind­ing light from the void.

Cre­ation 24“x24”

CAMPIGDOLIA CIRCLED” is a play on a design by Michelan­ge­lo for a huge plaza in Rome. His was based on an oval. I have sim­pli­fied it into a cir­cle — thus the title.

Cam­pag­do­lia Cir­cled 24“x24”

This piece I call ‘MUSIC”. I can almost hear it. It’s the brass sec­tion. It’s com­ing out of a speaker.

Music 24“x24”

In Jan­u­ary 2016, I went to Vir­ginia to attend a fres­co paint­ing work­shop held in the new­ly built Chapel of a pri­vate Catholic School. The vis­it coin­cid­ed with the most extreme snow­storm Vir­ginia had wit­nessed since 1922. It trapped us in the chapel for sev­er­al days. When I got back I paint­ed “MADONNA OF THE SNOWS”.

I’ve been asked which piece is my favourite. It’s an odd ques­tion. But if I had to choose, this piece is def­i­nite­ly in the running.

Madon­na of the Snows 24“x24”

Most of the paint­ings in this show deal with big themes. Deci­pher­ing the pat­tern under­ly­ing a moroc­can wall tile, gave me the basis of the inter­laced and con­tin­u­ous shape of “CRYSTAL INFINITY”. It’s a med­i­ta­tion on the universe.

Crys­tal Infin­i­ty 24“x24”

When you turn cir­cles into ovals you intro­duce the illu­sion of three dimen­sions. The ini­tial draw­ing for this piece, tak­en from a church dome, was so over­whelm­ing that I did a large num­ber of colour sketch­es to fig­ure out how to paint it. I call them “THE MOONS OF TITAN”. The piece isn’t called “TITAN” because it is a dome not a death star.
I’m call­ing it “ELATION ‑for BILL”.

Ela­tion — for Bill 24“x24”

At Bill Lishman’s memo­r­i­al, his son Jordie recount­ed how Bill was insis­tent that a com­mis­sioned sculp­ture be called “ELATION”. I had been puz­zling over what to call this piece and I thought at the time — this would be a good title for my piece. Then Jordie went on to say , it was because Bill want­ed to intro­duce his piece as the “ AJAX ELATION”…

I’ve got the Port Per­ry “ELATION”, a dif­fer­ent lev­el of won­der­ment. Then again, my wife, the beloved Ms Anne calls it “MADONNA’S BRA” Not the same Madon­na as before. A dif­fer­ent Madon­na. But some­thing is hap­pen­ing under all the gold.

I want­ed to try doing spi­rals, which are more dif­fi­cult to draw with pre­ci­sion than cir­cles or ovals. I sup­pose i could have tried com­put­er gen­er­at­ed but I haven’t got there yet. My spi­rals are based on a spi­ral stair­case that I stared at for days. (After the fact, Judith has showed me how to con­struct spi­rals from a series of tri­an­gles. Thank you Judith.)

MOTION”. This lit­tle piece took for­ev­er and went through many changes on its way to com­ple­tion. At one point I called it “TURBINE, ROOSTER, RADIO TOWER

Motion 18“x18”

The paint­ing “TIME TUNNEL”, was based on the same ini­tial spi­ral but it was a much more coop­er­a­tive piece.

Time Tun­nel 24“x24”

A draw­ing I found in one of my sketch books, turned into the min­i­mal piece I call “SIR LANCELOT.” Until you get close to the piece the small red rib­bon is bare­ly vis­i­ble. For a while it was a dif­fer­ent colour every day until I real­ized that it was a bleed­ing gash. The Knight has been wound­ed. True brav­ery requires con­quer­ing fear. Some­times it takes a while to see the obvious.

Sir Lancelot   24“x24”

Most of the time I have no idea where the piece is going when I start. I can imag­ine how some­thing will look but then I have to deal with how it actu­al­ly looks.”FABLE” for instance. I imag­ined it as Aztec but it end­ed up being like an East­ern Euro­pean East­er Egg design and has a feel like a Broth­ers Grimm tale.

Fable   24“x24”

One of the weird­est out­comes came about when I paint­ed an Ara­bic floor pat­tern in a Chi­nese palette. “ENTER THE DRAGON” was a very unex­pect­ed evolution.

Enter the Drag­on   18“x18”

VASARLEY UNCHAINED” is named after Vic­tor Vasar­ley an artist famed in the 1960’s for his Op Art and Geo­met­ric Abstrac­tions. My piece is very close to one of his sig­na­ture explo­rations but a whole lot loos­er, hav­ing thrown off the shack­les of pre­ci­sion and exactitude.

Vasar­ley Unchained 24“x24”

Anoth­er wild tan­gent has pro­duced a piece con­struct­ed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jack Seary. Jack pho­tographed the ini­tial piece and then mount­ed it six up to form the com­plex “VOODOO FONTAINEBLEAU.” The repeat­ing pat­tern pro­duces vari­a­tions depend­ing on how the ini­tial piece is mount­ed . One arrange­ment involved mir­ror­ing the image, anoth­er was achieved by rotat­ing the image.

Voodoo Fontainebleau 18“x29”

Next up is an unfin­ished piece called “VITRUVIAN STAR.” I’ve been read­ing about Leonar­do. I’ve tak­en his famous “VITRUVIAN MAN” and mor­phed it into the inhu­man — 3,4,5. Tri­an­gle, square, pentagon.

Vit­ru­vian Star — Unpaint­ed 18“x18”

As you can see, I’ve been wild­ly cov­er­ing ter­ri­to­ry in my cel­e­bra­tion of the pos­si­bil­i­ties. I leapt on my horse and rode off in all direc­tions. I could return to any one of these areas and explore in greater depth, or maybe I’ll just keep on jour­ney­ing into the infinite.