“I want to make poems that look into the earth and the heavens and see the unseeable. I want them to honor both the heart of faith, and the light of the world; the gladness that says, without any words, everything” ~ Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver always puts in words, better than I ever can, the why behind why I paint and the how I want to make paintings. Over the past several months, I've collected sounds, shapes, colours and patterns from a river walk near my home. I keep returning to this spot. Spellbound by the river's music. Restored by the peacefulness. The river has become a source of inspiration for me, a metaphor for the endless flow of experience. It gently urged me to surrender at a time when I felt stagnant in my creativity, and it softly guided me down a path of new discoveries.
Back in the studio, lyrical lines and repeated patterns flowed onto the paper and canvas. Floating abstract forms of leaves, pebbles, flowers, branches, birds, moons and suns intertwine with suggestive shapes of mountains, rivers, winds and weather patterns. These works oscillate between the recognisable and the abstract. I like my work to be in this in between space, a space where ambiguity allows you to place your own memories and meanings onto the work.
A river can often be a spiritually rich place. In ancient Irish mythology, rivers frequently appear as a link between the physical world and the otherworld ~ a portal. A place where past and present dance together. These ideas of portals are reoccurring themes in my work ~ believing in things beyond what we can see.
I see my paintings as offerings: a way of looking, a way of faith, an invitation to a practice of paying attention and being in wonderment of the natural world.