The Abstract Nature of Idea - oil on fine linen
Many times when you are envisaging, it takes a great deal of abstract thought to imagine and see the idea in your minds eye. This is what struck me during my time working as a young labourer on construction sites, and also during my recent visits to the various terminals and sites at the Corrib project. I also find myself confronted with dealing with this mental task of imagining daily as I create my paintings. I have to firstly imagine them, conceive them through my initial concept, and in many cases nearly 'will' them to being and to my eventual desired outcome. I don't know quite how I'll get there but have a belief or trust that I follow.
In many cases when I was listening to the engineers on site at the Corrib project I was having to create in my minds eye what was about to take place in the coming construction - or to imagine a pipe, tunnel or series of complex things happening under my feet or off in the distance.
With this piece I attempted, through my varied paint application, to illustrate the nature of an abstract concept or idea being explained from one person to the next, and how this very abstract idea takes formation through the various parties who are able to understand it abstractly and then envisage the steps necessary to get it eventually to the desired outcome.
It was this very 'abstract nature of idea' that I waited to capture with this painting. The highly rendered figures stand in conversation and gesture. They become the real focus of the painting while the background and landscape in which they are placed breaks up into dynamic lines, gestures, and expressive strokes of the brush. By doing this I hoped to illustrate how something might take form. In a way the background is like an underpainting, a foundation, a concept on which an idea or more permanent structure might be built.
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