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2.14 - Painting 2011
2.03 - Deliverance

Earthbound - Grotto

Like the two other groups of works in Earthbound, this series combines oil paintings with a group of editioned prints. The prostrate figure in the lower half of the picture is common to all three groups.

The first two paintings displayed here measure 1.1x1.7m; they show traces of graphite and scrawled under-drawing through the oil paint. The figure in the higher regions of these works is an image of the 'first artist', who engraves the form of itself deep within a subterranean place that emanates from the mind of a sleeping figure below. 

The subject of the work relates to many earlier depictions of artists/conjurers manipulating material as a way of reshaping their own perception. Earlier works exploring this theme include Depot and Out of Our Heads.

The presence of both the artist and the image he depicts are like fossils imprinted upon the mythic flat space of the picture-plane. The large crystalline structure on which the artist draws grows directly from the mind of the figure beneath. The form and texture of the various geological structures has connection to the biological forms of the body.


The image that the artist inscribes is another figurative form, implying a long lineage of self reflective drawings yet to come. I had made an allusion to this in a notebook—an engraver engraves an engraver, who engraves an engraver, who… etc. The main figure of the artist in these paintings is a spectral being, who seems to be aware that he has been created by similar means.

The subterranean space in which this scenario takes place is a simple depiction of the most secret recesses within our inner mind. This place holds its own illumination and hangs suspended in a space on the other side of our awareness. The figure who works there behind the scenes seems to have been lifted straight out of the sleeping body below. This sleeping figure is clutching a small stone near his head, as if channeling the entire story above him from its heart.



The paintings displayed below are slightly smaller than the works above. They measure 100x70cm. At times I deliberately emphasise the layering of information within a picture and then reduce another image to a minimum.


As in the other series of work displayed within Earthbound, I produced prints and drawings alongside the paintings. Displayed below are a silverpoint drawing and a group of photopolymer prints.




Explore this theme

1. Introduction

2. Inland

3. Landlocked

4. Grotto (You Are Here)