Thursday, 7 May 2009
Down By The Water [A Candy Coloured Clown They Call The Sandman]
Thought it was about time I posted some pictures of my Paintings and explained a bit about each one - basically the story behind them.
They all stem from my childhood, they're a mixture of my memories, experiences, nightmares, learning about death, my fears of the apocalypse [ - people dying, the end etc] and of the objects, locations and memories I sought comfort in to protect me from the above.
This painting is based on the Mill Pond in our village that's part of the Water Mill, my brother worked in the cafe and gift shop there when i was little and I spent a large chunk of my summers playing in the Mill.
The pond fascinated me, as it appeared to be a massive circular bright green pond, when in fact it was the mixture of the reflections of the trees and the algae covering that tricked me to thinking it was bigger and deeper than it actually was. You had to walk through a narrow clearing in the trees to get to the pond, and a small stream ran alongside the windy path, so it was quite an adventure in itself to get to it, and when you arrived you were greeted by the stone table from the painting. I always looked at the stone like a sacrificial altar, and the eerie quiet of the pond always unnerved my slightly. Naturally I had a massive fear that I'd fall into the pond, so I'd make sure I didn't stand to close, and each time before I left I'd always throw stones into it purely to exert some kind of power over the pond [silly really thinking me throwing a stone would hurt the pond in some way]
I used a photo I took recently of the pond, as a reference for the painting, but its changed dramatically so I also relied on my memories.
I wanted to use the paintings to document the fears i had and the things i used to comfort myself during the times when i had really bad nightmares, I'd talk to my clown and tell it about the deaths, so it almost became like a 'worry doll' [the concept of a problem shared coming into effect] so the clown isn't really dead it's just floating in the water, the water cannot take it completely or kill it [since it isn't really alive] My theory about these objects like the clown was that even if my dreams came true and the world ended or i lost all my family, they would still remain, so I've tried to put that across in the paintings, but of course I've not shied away from making them menacing.
Stephen King's 'It' has also been used here as a reference both visually and contextually, I've tapped into a common fear of clowns to unsettle the viewer and also dealt with the notion of returning to locations from your childhood to face your fears...