On show in the group exhibition The Solace of Grass with Barbara Penrose and Sally Cox at the Metcalfe Gallery, Brisbane Institute of Art, March 11th to 22nd 2023

Liken wall installation 2.7 x 6m

For this show, gestated over a couple of years, most of the work came about in the months preceding the exhibition in a newly built, rural studio on a property we had moved to a year before.

The paintings evolved from images found in a ring-bound 1940s publication: New Photography – Lighting and Composition by Bruno of Hollywood. It’s a manual in the classic era of pin-up imagery, female nudes formally composed, exquisitely lit objectifications, set pieces with allusions to classical sculpture, clear lines, sharp edges, complicated shadows.

I had picked it up years before but couldn’t begin to see a way of using them until the move into a natural environment. Likening the pixels and film texture of 1940s print photography to the granular texture of rock, cypress bark and rhythmic vegetation around the studio made me look into the photographs as a space of granular rhythms playing ambiently around the pictorial image.

Liken #37
310 x 410 mm casein and acrylic on ply

The regimented structures of repetitive pixels woven into the ‘noisy’ static of celluloid film lead me into spaces akin to those I find walking among lichen covered granite and scratchy-leafed melaleuca. Both the photographic and bush spaces form an austere screen in which narrowly insistent patterns relieve or are provoked by chaotic entanglements.

Liken #5
430 x 385 mm casein and acrylic on printed cotton

The work of an applied artist develops the body as an instrument (the copper-plate engraver’s wrist and burin, the textile weaver’s arm and shuttle, tapestry fingers) while there is a kind of static energy develops between historical DNA mixing with the moment of making.

Liken #2
425 x 375 mm casein and acrylic on printed cotton

Many of these paintings evolve from a transcribed figure or scene which collapses into a play of marks transforming the painting from figure-ground to fluxing space in which the figure’s presence is largely geometric. The cloud-like form of the installation becomes a kind of story board of stilled scenic details.

Installation detail

In early expressions of the erotic in archaic Greek poetry is the perception/experience of a form of static interference.

Liken #26
320 x 320mm acrylic on primed linen

In the space of the erotic the body is a psychedelic concept; it swells and disperses; is mutable; is in a constant state of flux. The erotic space is filled with static electricity as the lines of desire move from lover to beloved and return to the lover transformed.

Liken #30
150 x 210 MM casein and acrylic on ply

This experience of static interference presents a charged space where edges are all important if barely discernible and where things come into focus and vanish again.

Liken #31
310 x 250 mm casein and acrylic on ply

But I return to the painting as Sappho in her poem fr31, the poet is one point in a triangle of relationships – she, swooning takes in the man across the way and is returned to herself a collapsing, emotionally charged and changed figure, or seems to be:

Primary Cause 180 x 120mm acrylic on unprimed linen on ply

About nameerdavis

I'm drawn to the crowd and the culture it foments.
This entry was posted in Contemporary painting, crowd formation, drawing process, pattern. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Likening

  1. Gabe Parker says:

    Thanks for sending this. The show looks great. Will you be there on the weekend?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. painter12 says:

    Terrific show Nameer, the country has made you stronger. It’s good to feel Cheers David

    Liked by 1 person

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