When I was younger I always painted pictures of frogs. Frogs are weird. I thought it was incredible painting every detail of something so strange. The details made sense... in a weird way. I tirelessly like to invent. I always want my ideas to be like a frog: to be the strangest thing but somehow, through the details, it would make sense.
So I started with the one real thing about a painting, the fact that it is inescapably a painting. This work is an ecosystem on canvas. It is both beautiful and disgusting, as most wild things are. It shows the simplicity and complexity of growth as I have invented it. Colour, line and shapes appear on the canvas as if it had grown there. A terrarium of paint grows as the canvas decays. It’s almost like I discovered one day that paint would just start growing on canvases and by some stroke of luck I am the first with the chance to explore and draw it, study and learn from it. The paintings hold a balance of life and decay. Each element has its own goal but somehow they work together creating an environment. An environment that is as strange and outrageous as I could hope.
About 5 months into this project in addition to the creation of Abnormal Canvas Growth itself I began to create 'A Guide to Abnormal Canvas Growth'. I gave a name, a Latin name, a front and side drawing and a paragraph describing characteristics of 20 individual species of Abnormal Canvas Growth. This book was the icing on the cake, giving the viewer the ability to understand the complex details of the ecosystem. The gallery becomes something like bird watching or something you might find at the science centre.
The pictures are from the Queen’s University Bachelor of Fine Art Graduate Exhibition 2008: Brain nor Fools Face the Hours. And yes, I let the growths spread onto the walls. Enjoy.
Abnormal Canvas Growths are unfamiliar organisms that live primarily on heavy-duty plain-woven fabric. These organisms are based outside typical cell formation, on visual sensory values such as shape, line and colour. Generally Abnormal Canvas Growths have a tendency to reproduce aggressively increasing the value of the infected fabric.