Speaking to my Heart’s Desire ‧ Still Life

University of Calgary Theatre, Mezzanine Gallery

June 2005

High realism is not something that is of current interest to the contemporary art world, nor is beauty for its own sake. But for me, at this time, it is beauty that most stimulates my creative appetite. My choices of objects are not meant to define the beautiful as much as they are intended to be yet another avenue to experience it. I know I long for beauty, but just what is beauty? These paintings are an intensely subjective and intimate conversation I’ve engaged myself in to address this question.

These paintings are not meant to be spontaneous responses to visual stimuli, as valuable as that process may be. These paintings are grounded in long, slow seeing. They are built by slowly layering coloured transparencies – glazes – until the desired effect is achieved. These paintings are meditations and reflections.

They also express a psychological and emotional desire for stillness and clarity. Their place in contemporary art – if there is a place – comes, in my mind, not in their address and description of current states of stress and anxiety ubiquitous in popular culture; but, perhaps more radically, in the offering of a direct action/experience to alleviate that anxiety – viewer by viewer – in the moment. A profoundly simple moment.

Speaking to My Heart’s Desire was shown at the University Theater Gallery, University of Calgary, from June 6 to July 29, 2005.

It contained a number of the early pieces for Marg’s Museum.

Many thanks to Martin Herbert.