Fragmented Illusions Part 2
Fracture: divided or split into parts – a world of fractured cultures and global interdependence.
Illusions: something that in not really what it seems to be – a false appearance or deceptive impression of reality – a mirror gives an illusion of depth.
I qualified as an architect from University College Dublin, and worked for many years s an architect both in Ireland and abroad. I returned to college as a mature student and obtained an Honours Degree in Fine Art from the Crawford College of Art.
I am looking at nature – at landscape – using geometry and structure to convey my ideas. There is a tension in using geometric elements to portray the freedom of nature.
These paintings are in fact a construct – a cultural construct – just as the landscape itself is both a social and cultural construct.
Simon Schama says in "Landscape and Memory", "Landscapes are cultural before they are nature, constructs of the imagination projected onto wood and rock."
Taking elements of the landscape, elements of geometry, elements of art history I try to create a fragmented and illusionary whole.
The act of painting is a liberating gesture. "Art has political function in the sense that it brings something to life - enhancing a desire for life", Etel Adnan.
"In times of trouble we need even more art, and not less. It is not an extra, it is not superfluous, something marginal; it is something fundamental", Etel Adnan.
I have been greatly influenced by the Avant Garde of the early 20th century. By cubism, by Cezanne and Ben Nicolson among others, by the Bauhaus and the tradition of Modernism, but tempered by the new reality of Post Modernism and pluralism, by the idea of Fractals and the emergence of thought on non-linear space. Both the philosophy and art of the Far East has impacted on my work and ideas. The balance between emotion and rationality is something I strive to achieve.
Architecture has been a dominant influence on the work, I am interested in the manipulation of space and structure. I am interested in the creation of both depth and pattern, thus creating a tension on the flat surface of the canvas.
The diagonal lines and patterns in the landscape, the vertical and horizontal bands of ancient rock found around our coasts, the sea, the sky, are all fragments that I combine to create an illusionary whole. These elements are conceptualized and abstracted in the paintings.
Wilderness hides its unnaturalness behind a mask that is all the more beguiling because it seems so natural. As we gaze into the mirror it holds up for us we too easily imagine that what we behold is nature when in fact we see the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires.
In recent work I am looking at climate change – at the environment and on mankind`s impact on nature and the daily news and reports of our planet in peril. In future work I hope to examine these challenges more closely.
Angela Fewer, Feb 2020.