In examining the swarm form, I am most challenged by the visual duality of pressure and release. I find the fluxing density of buzzing bees, whether midair or grounded both terrifying and mesmerizing to look at. As much as I enjoy painting bees for their sheer 'stunning" beauty, it is also a visual language that best capture the drawn tension I feel that exist in our current natural, economic and social systems.
Paradigm [no.1], is the first of a series done in oil on canvas. It is now on view at UBC campus's Boulevard Cafe. The show is titled: The 180 project. Shannon Newby and I have collaborated to pair our individual artworks to create a diptych. In this manner, our works catalyze a dialogue with one another about subject matter, form and material. Shannon's piece, titled: Frantic Simplicity richly plays with materials of encaustic, dress patterns and oil paint. In my work, I was really trying to study the optics of the swarm. I am curious to deconstruct how our eyes perceive these minions in motion. Using oil, I took on a classical Rembrandt approach of pushing and sculpting the paint to catch light and build volume.
Photo: Erik Newby