Since I can remember I’ve been aware of a background ‘noise’ that forms a context for everything. It’s not an actual noise, not like Tinnitus, not in the ear but in the mind, the workings of some machinery in the process of putting my life together as it happens, like a commentary except there isn’t a narrator. Always just a bit too late to turn hearing into listening, it’s what creates a slippage of experience in the actual.
I’m on the edge of a representation engaged in painting crowds right now. People in groups are discernable as object bodies and signal spaces.
In the bird chirping quiet of this countryside I’m getting signals from Istanbul some months ago. Each night during the protests we watched from a third floor window the pulsing of people in the street below. During our daily walks, these groups, prior to aggregation could be seen arriving on ferries, swelling footpath traffic in a city always already on the verge of over-congestion. In other words the movement of people aiming to join the Taksim crowds were like an occasional speeding up of a fast city pulse.
My eyes return to a scene after glancing and registering a quickening, but it’s gone. Coming up with rationalised perceptions… institutions of civic control about to breakdown, blah blah blah…but inside that glance is a mnemogenic moment, shapes and spaces, directional angles together willing to be remembered in momentary alignment.
Here on this property there are pockets of cleared land on a hillside of forested granite escarpments. Little birds fill the air over the ordered gardens but in the tinder and stone forest there’s a silence on the wallaby trails whispering at fallen trees, tilting within compounds of granite boulders. In the sparky silence vision and hearing are focused in a state of attentive feedback fresh from meeting with a black snake at the garden tap.
On this particular tangled slope a pair of frogmouth owls deliberate overhead as to whether to be branch or bird. Surface becomes spatial with the attention given it. A simplified diagram in which a dotted urine trail leads to a cross hatch of lines, a shape forms holding focus, cut by a line to its vanishing distance, and moves.