Working in black and white has back story for later...
Works are about 1m wide graphite power suspended in painting medium on paper. The paper has the feel of photographic paper, is smooth and allows the turpentine that is added to the works to more the graphite to give a free flowing medium to draw into.
Graphite gives the tonal values, the white is the paper. The turps and fumes means Chris has to work with a mask on!
Working on paper slows the risk.
Residency NiMAC, Nicosia. Nicosia in Cypress on Turkish Greek boarder.
Using modern themes with in 17th century still life tradition
Rich traditions of Dutch wealth glorifying possessions and control seems out modded. 17th century brought about the beginnings of the consumerism of objects and art objects and these still life paintings were very much part of that.
CC was inspired by the book “Looking For the Overlooked” by Norman Bryson 1980.
Working with a very aesthetic tradition, Chris is asking how would it be if these works are purely rendered in black and white? He feels this introduces a kind of irony.
The paintings are not fully transcribed, the arrangement is much the same but the process is shaping the image. The process takes away some of the poise...
Within the Dutch tradition the use of flowers enabled the artist to show off skill and to show wealth but also to add an element of mortality; flowers and wealth will die. This was more so in the vanitas tradition.
Fitting other objects into the still life
To add to the irony and questions around the painting he began playing with scale and objects within the view, adding drones and toy soldiers, postcards of the atomic bomb...
Working in a boarder line
Working in Nicosia brought the added enquiry of being in the green line between turkey and Greece with a boarder manned by united nation soldiers.
Main issue facing the around it area is the issue of migration.
Everyday tension between object and ownership. De-militarised zone between. Intriguing no-mans land. Seemed arbitrary and absurd.
Surrounded by Cypriot culture and photographing and using images from internet Chris turns the images into black and white. These are then put together on a board to work from. A jackdaw like process, almost like photoshop as the technique, is so liquid this help the image to be unified.
Why would a Dutch painting tradition have anything to do with Cypriot culture? Chris wants to bring these images from colonialism to a place that had clearly failed as a Colony.
Using images from the checkpoints and elegant object together, metaphors are set up through scale and the play of objects. Symbols of wealth and poverty. Minaret like vases alluding to the tensions around the constantly changing churches and mosques, one becoming the other and back again.
Working back in the uk
Still working with Flemish artists.
Exhibition in York with Dutch still life painting to bring the ideas of 17th works up to date. Challenged to make five new works. Making work that honours the originals as well as demonstrates how their out modded-ness can be reinvigorated. Trying to find a rhyme with the original and challenge it as well. There are probably 50 images in this style now.
It has been very helpful to see images of the technique Chris has talked about in tutorials and to understand a little of the processes.