Uncertainty and all its minions (comment on my painting: Imperial Hotel Mt. Victoria)

While painting on the street.. I am just painting.. putting paint down on the canvas.. like a recent cold morning on the highest part of the blue mountains.. Mount Victoria.. I was painting the Imperial hotel at 6am.. afterwards I looked at the painting and I could see all the things that are on my mind about how we live and who we might be.. and all the things I think about that give this world its energy and make it unbounded.. I think about the things that excite me.. ideas about resolution and its counterpart… incompleteness.. I think about the fact that we love things to get resolved but resolution is an impossibility a constantly yearned after place – eden… yearning is itself.. a creative force.. as things ride that ever diminishing asymptotic wave to completeness.. but we never get to that place.. death is the closest we can come..

I also see in my painting the struggle between order and chaos.. we like order… it is safe for us.. chaos suggests death.. life is the fine balancing act between order – indifferent death.. and chaos – wild death on the other side.. it is interesting that life exists on a narrow plane between the these two forms of death… this plays out in the painting where things are vacillating between holding onto a form / structure.. or giving into an unresolved sense of form.. but not holding on to that idea too tightly.. not giving in to the safety of death…

in the painting.. as in life the other great force is a synthetic force.. and this is pitted against an entropic destructive force… both are necessary for the painting… things are never created cleanly there is always destruction in the midst of creation you see this in cellular systems.. for structures to emerge in complex organisms cells need to die – usually in a controlled way to yield a functional form..

The phenomenon that governs these forces is Uncertainty.. no structures are certain… the edges of things don’t exist in any real way.. Cezanne seemed to discover that in his paintings.. when you get up close to one.. you get a sense that all the colours or possibilities are somehow contained in the finite space held by the form.. we are fooled into a sense of certainty by the way our brains interpret the data presented to them by our senses… in this case the eye… but in truth things are not as they seem and when I feel a painting has worked it is usually because it has given me some insight into the possibilities about how things really are or might be.. and I find that exhilarating..

Image

the illusion of definition

plein air painting has become a way for me

to see past the deception of

the eye..

which we interpret as a photographic thing

but the eye shuttles rapidly

between objects overlapping things

thrust forward

held back

the brain with its neural networking

assembles the visual data and interprets the

information

gives it edges

gives it definition

 

when I paint and

am in the zone

and the canvas is heavily

textured

denying me edges

I start to sense what the eye is seeing

by my interaction

with the canvas

and what I see

and

as my eye

scans the painting

and the edgeless

night

so for a while

the illusion of definition

is lostImage

Bakri ‘Id Hyderabad

when I was in Hyderabad..

 in the middle of the festival of Barkri ‘Id..

a festival where the Muslims celebrate Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice Ishmael..

but he doesn’t..

Allah intervenes and a goat is slaughtered
instead.. in Hyderabad..

there were goats everywhere

… 100 000 of them.. lining the street..

 seamlessly with people.. all over…

.. in/on laps just all over.. and it was

a beautiful visceral thing

humanity was seamless with the animal..

all aspects happened in front of your eyes..

the slaughter..

 the herding..

the boy leading

the goat.. sharing

a seat on an overloaded truck.. there was a goat…

not like here.. where the animals that serve us

for food.. don’t really exist

they are far away …

we see

them as neatly wrapped up things on supermarket shelves…

safely away

from our children.. we grow up

detached..

safe..

and it is not safe…

we need to know our animals again…

we are part them.. we are not

some separate thing .. …

and we need to share space and intimacy with them again..

so we can learn how to feel..

Image

Painting Cacophonia

Image

when I go out painting at night

I am painting

with my nervous system’

when I go out.. and be

Sid Sledge

in the day Steve is looking

after the kids

making dinner

talking to my wife

Being the suburban man

but at some point I/He be Sid

and he can paint on the street.. but

while he is doing it

he knows.. Steve

is watching

and then grabbing the brush

then hE ?i takes it back

going What!?

We makes me nervous

and I use that for my painting

—–

last night was easy.. I had just heard Vieux Farke Toure.. son of the late great. Ali Farke Toure at the Basement in Sydney… and even though the night club down the road I found myself painting outside had no soul… the strange wild blues of Vieux and his beautiful band were still in me…

Thanks Vieux.. and happy birthday!

© Copyright Sid Sledge Artist