Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 31

ARTSCOPE MAGAZINE AD – January/February 2013



Fado – Fatum is a theme, a jumping off point.  It reflects the struggle of creative individuals balancing their obligations which are stitched to and, synonymous with their fate, their destiny and ofttimes their dashed aspirations.

Fado is a Portuguese music form or genre.  The word is derived from fatum the Latin word for fate, destiny and doom.  This traditional music has been described by historian and scholar Rui Vieira Nery as being a characteristic sentiment of resignation and fatefulness.

It is melancholia embodied by the Portuguese word saudade which, means a longing for something unrequited or unattainable.

Although I generally believe my work to be nothing more than a series of academic exercises where I attempt to push the visual problems I’ve selected to solve to a satisfactory conclusion, it could be argued that the form, while still subjective, is based on the landscape.

Then again, even the most minimal composition using horizontal lines will seem to support this opinion.  Landscape can be boiled down into icon as much as an intersecting horizontal and vertical line can become an iconic cross.

Yes, my past work was consciously and intentionally rooted in the landscape form.  But, there was never a specific point of reference from nature.  The work was and is, as I’ve come to understand it, not of something but of itself or, what I would like to think of as iconic and existing by itself.

There is, however, a nagging possibility of some presence of genetic memory that has bubbled up into my consciousness which, I am still exploring.  Genetic memory theories are still seen as fuzzy science at best.

These memories may go back to my eleventh great-grandfather who drowned in the Saint Lawrence River in the late seventeenth century.  He became entangled in his anchor line.

And, since I’ve always wondered about my lifelong fascination with untangling line and rope, this happenstance discovery was a bit of a revelation.

The work in this exhibit is the result of a continuing journey which began with my first explorations of calligraphic line many years ago.  It was the result of the stitched canvases I was experimenting with and evolved into sgraffito.

Thirty years later, the exploration has evolved into an attempt to redefine the horizontal form through the concept of the music staff; five horizontal lines with four spaces.  It also became a tribute to my mother, a singer of fado, who chose to fulfill her obligations, of which I was one, rather than pursue her aspirations.

And, that brings me back to the theme of this show.  The musical reference imagery has developed on its own and hopefully, it has directed me towards newer and possibly more authentic mark making.




Posted on: 05/01/2013, by :
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