2.14 - Painting 2011
2.03 - Deliverance

Fertile Ground - Undergrowth

Works in this section are a direct development of imagery and ideas inherent within Organs of Special Sense, especially the Spore series.

Images on this page present primitive plant-like forms that rise up from the head, as if an expression of some basic aspiration of the imagination. These thought extensions also relate to the horns explored within Heads and Horns in Song of Substance.

This large image from 2004, ‘Tusk’, is oil on linen and measures 1.9x1.5m. I envisioned a massive extension of the head, growing into the night lands of the imagination. I depicted the interior bloom of thought as a type of fungal growth that occurs under the cover of darkness. This idea inspired me in a similar way to the function of nocturnal vision, explored previously in Luminous Night.

Both groups of work portray a growth of the senses that is stimulated by darkness. I imagined the active energy of the subconscious to function this way. Many monoprinted dots were projected onto the surface of this picture to simulate spore-like particles that might be released from the fecund head forms at the bottom of the image. This information has reassembled itself to resemble something of the source from which it has originated.

This painting explores a similar development of upward growth into dark spaces. The painting incorporates large woodcuts that relate to other imagery within Fertile Ground. I attempted to describe the reverse form of my head, rising up like a giant bud and illuminated by a dark glow.

The points of light describing facial features on the stem of this ghostly tusk are again coded to reflect the growth pattern of the subconscious, so that it rears up like a secret totem pole. The entire structure is like a mushroom that propagates without our knowledge and that would disappear in the light of day. The picture measures 1.5x1.2m.



Smaller images were painted, with similarly blunt depictions of magical growth. The first two images are oil paintings, measuring approximately 90x70cm. The third image is ink on paper, 20x10cm.


Soon after producing the pictures above, I embarked upon a large-scale painting that contained some of the same forms, with a light-hearted nature and a florid palette. I placed heads at the bottom of the picture as the source of the jubilant growth, like bulbous roots in a fantastic garden. The picture measures approximately 2x3m.

The following works on paper were made as studies for the large painting. They are made with gouache, ink and pastel.





Explore this theme

1. Introduction

2. Rising Stone

3. From the Underturned Stone

4. Mind's Eye

5. Undergrowth (You Are Here)