Mind Games

I thought about the John Lennon song Mind Games……and the games we play on ourselves and eachother. Seen not seen…..confusing twists shapes making sense of it all, and not succeeding. A mish mash mess of trying to communicate missing and thinking you know you understand but are standing on different pages. Object subject fused, but separated on different dimensions in different patterns, how do u make sense of communicating and not really knowing the other knows in the same way as you, or do even the different parts of me understand and accept totality or is it all perceptual dimensions.mind games 2003


Drop Kick

drop kick 2003Drop Kick, has a couple of connotations… the first one was about kicking a ball high in the air…..as a kind of a chance ball…..not knowing what the arrangement of the players would be once the ball grounds again. The second was about being a left over, surplus to requirements, good for nothing forgotten.

Am I worth anything? What meaning/purpose/reason to I have for being here, what do I do now, what choices to I make. And hidden in all that is do I have meaning just in being…. Do I need to Do, to Be?

A common theme in any period of change, the new is not yet formed and the old is disintegrating as the new takes the energy of the old, foundations shift, the ground is unsteady. Anxious steps not knowing the validity of a new way of being.

This relates more closely to a change in personality a change in grounding beliefs, necessitation a risk of relationships to family and friends….risky business, this authentic self, the real self, that changes with life’s experiences and choices. Does not seem to have much going for it in the outside world, this shift within….. But when I was navigating one period of change the level of internal frustration was too much, like the shell could not contain the contents, the inside shifted stretched and squirmed and the outside broke. I no longer presented as the person I once was, I had to renegotiate relationships, crossing taboos of others in my groups. Self emergent not quite sure, but even then as the outside drifted into a chaotic molten mass, my inner self found form, the frustration gone, though the outside world was still renegotiating. Anxious constant change, but the inner core grounds this shift, knowing a truer self exists, that I had let form.

The images I painted reminded me of totems, projected protection touchstone emblem, internal contents made manifest in an outside world. The journey of finding how that new self finds similar contents in the outside world has been surprising, there was more than I thought…..



Density came from a feeling I got from the finished painting , of a snow storm and the heaviness of the air, the closeness of the feeling of snow laden air. I misspelled the file as destiny which I found interesting too, of not ever seeing clearly where you are headed in life, you just dont see somethings coming the appear seemingly out of nowhere, but in hindsight you always see the growth of conditions that all lead up to something happening, may be not always but quite often in my experience. I loved waking up as a kid and seeing snow outside, it did not happen every year, but when it did we made igloo’s and threw snowballs cliched yes but I loved every minute,  changing my gloves to socks when they became sodden so I could carry on playing. The things that kind of grip us with enthusiasm are a bit mysterious, sometimes common with others sometimes just plain odd, but I love the feeling that’s the common thread. 


There is a kind of interesting story to this one…..it starts off with a phone call from my brother on the tube, asks me to call hiImagem when he gets home. In the intervening period he has a kind of waking/dosing dream about me in a round about way. He talks about it as a metaphor of my spiritual life, a tree, but it’s floating somewhere above the Himalayas, surrounded by a rainbow. There are birds in the tree, and rabbits in the roots…. then a tibetan monk appears in the middle of the tree banging a gong, which resonates through the tree. There are some other references about some difficulties I had with other people…..in the dream this translated as pinning my skin to the tree but it not sticking. The message was about others thinking they can damage my soul, but it is impossible, you can only hurt the flesh, the soul is impervious to physical action as it does not exist within the physical world. Sooo…. I did a painting later on paper exploring this story. A kind of abstract tree with a person sitting in its shade appeared, with a red line as the spine. When this translated again to oils, the person becomes a woman and pregnant, with what looks like a wormy snake approaching along the ground. So the allusion to christian stories is not lost on me. What has been interesting is the deep level of entry these stories are sitting in my unconscious. That got me thinking about art and the mythical and religious stories that form the theme of so many. At this time I was about to go to Italy the next year and spend many hours wandering the art galleries in Rome, Perugia, and Florence. My modern context seemed so distanced, but yet there was a part of me that played with and explored all these stories. I think Picasso did a series of line drawings depicting the stories at art….. greek and christian mythologies. Why do artists do that, and why were these theme coming up in my work? The deeply allegorical nature of pondering unanswerable questions and the qualities of wisdom, what is it, who are we, why do we have these stories.


Again this idea of home, your roots, your identity is part of this work. I did not know what I was drawing/painting. Only when I stopped did i see the stick figures. One seemingly feminine holding a new born, the other arms out and active seemed masculine. So I was drawn to think of the christian nativity but also the nativity of myself, so that’s how I get back to roots again. I painted it in tandem with god’s window so maybe I was working through religious under themes. There is also the idea of the inner child and my masculine and feminine selves. That is quite a confusing thing for me, brought up in a scholastically ambitious family, my sister and I chose masculine dominated professions, not that we were really aware of that. We just did, performed, excelled and failed to varying degrees of success. I am aware from this standpoint that I was socially quite confusing, as I was not standard issue in my societies terms anyway. I was breaking boundaries going places that other people were not quite comfortable with. But I always conformed to my rules, like painting when I should be doing homework, I did enough to go where i wanted to go, but not knowing why I wanted to go there. Unaware of the boundaries I broke til I broke them…. it is a good way to see the underpinnings of society, by unknowingly following your own trail, and seeing how the world around me reflects that. It can be quite confronting coming face to face with other people’s image of their inner man or woman, especially when yours does not conform. So this gender antagonism, and I know it is there, inside me as well as out there… it is a journey of making sense of me and my relation with out there. It is not an easy solution, it is a complicated tail and millions of interlapping tales.tolerance and creativity and the guts to go into and find your own conceptions of what is male what is female and how they combine in the special way that is you.Nativity 2003

soul invention

soul invention 2003this glyph first turned up in imprint of a soul, this piece is a meditation on that work. There was a strange kind of recognition that the glyph was somehow indicative of me, and kind of energy field of stuff, that just felt right. I suppose it has similarities I had with the feeling of protection being the energy of my paternal grandmother. The painting just felt like her. In the same way this this glyph feels like me.

Invention brings in another dimension, as the construct of a soul is often thought of as unchanging, fixed, predetermined. But is that so? Why do we have an idea of soul that does not immediately communicate the faculty of creativity. That ability to change and develop the new seems to me like a primal gift that cannot be taken away. In the same way the glyph starts something or describes something, it is not fully definitive. I like the idea of protecting the inventive capacity of soul. I cant talk intelligently about the religious conception of soul, I only know what my construction is. Informed by a religious upbringing, but i always have a sneaking suspicion that I am being in some why sacrilegious. I dont know what boundaries I am crossing in the beliefs of others. But then may be that is as it should be…. allowance for the freedoms and inner knowings of others.


Knowing is part of the series I  identify as the four elements. Thought as things is how i see this image. A thought has a space an identity a place. The streaks sort look like they are flying through the sky seem fast direct knowing. The imagery at the bottom could be stuck thoughts frozen thoughts entwined, not free to flight. Centred around dark bits caught in the ice, that seem objects frozen, thought these are not thoughts, may be they centre around emotions. When are thoughts free, when are the stuck , not working, grounded, what makes them freeze?knowing