When thinking of the word “Separation” I thought of physical layers in the painting whether it would be a screen floating on top of the painting or included within the painting. Having preciously worked with liquid latex I knew that it could be easily taken off the surface of a primed painting, I started to experiment with this idea of taking off a layer to then apply it back onto the surface of the canvas. Liquid latex unfortunately does have an colour which pushed me to explore ways in which I could colour it, adding pigment or oil paint wouldn’t work as it wouldn’t mix in, moving me to think of similar textures like ink. I wanted to make sure that I used bright colours that would not connote skin, as latex has a history in art like in Louise Bourgeois’ work for mimicking the human skin.
I soon realised that dying the latex would be the way forward with this form of experimenting, once it had dried pulling it off made an obvious mark of where the layer had been on the painting, as shown on the work below. An artist which inspired me to look at separated coloured latex was Julia Dault, even though some of her works are very much sculptural I was drawn the reflective properties of the work and the showing of involvement and effort made by the artist to make such works (Image 1).
When seeing her work i was very much taken back to Dan Grahams’ work, especially his pavilion’s, the tension between control in the piece and the unpredictability it has with light and viewer perceptions. I can relate to some of her ideologies in her work about the viewer and wanting to control their perceptions of the work, wanting to make them see the process in the making of the work. When looking at her work I see these layers of colour which I am trying to accomplish within my work. I feel that the latex I accomplishing this separation of colour, seeing that it has been taken off the canvas as it has dyed parts of it and then reapplying it onto the surface adds a sculptural element to the work, furthermore I liked the unpredictability in latex and its stickiness. It allowed me to manipulate certain creases which then reflected lights in different areas on the surface, however I do not feel that there is enough tension in this form of hanging in the orange and purple piece, even though it has this floating quality that like and want to explore it seems lifeless and still. The larger blue and green piece I feel is a better outcome to this experimentation, the tension and bringing the medium to its limits, where there are holes from over stretching, trying to reach the ends of the canvas, enveloping it. This is mostly the starting point of where I want to take these pieces, that light, coloured light could be an extra layer that might bring more immersion in an installation than what these pieces are currently achieving.
“Then again, there is this question of the balance between process and final form; if the final form is beautiful, how do we also evidence the process in getting there?” (Bordercrossingsmag.com, 2019)
“From a distance the sculptures look pristine but when you approach them you see the bumps and scratches that happened during their making. That’s why I refer to them as dirty Minimalism. It’s a shorthand way of saying that they’re not perfect and that lack of perfection is the source of their beauty. The evidence of their coming together is another layer of beauty.” (Dault. J, Bordercrossingsmag.com, 2019)
I feel that this statement which Dault says in an interview with Bordercrossing magazine is extremely relatable with my work, whether I am trying to accomplish absolute perfection in the application of colour or whether I like for there to be slight odd bush marks or scratches that have come from the studio, something that has been present in my thinking of what I want my paintings to accomplish. Why do they need to be pristine to be “painting”.