It’s a challenge to paint without an outcome in mind. I am used to taking my cues from somewhere. To reinterpret and rearrange them within the canvas: be it lines, shapes, sounds, memories or colours. So I am very excited to have a series of paintings where I let the subject matter itself emerge. It is a very open ended and challenging process to stay with what is happening on the canvas, to simply respond to what is there and to not go ahead and impose an idea onto it.
Only with Fujisan and Breach did I really manage this process. With these two canvases I felt I had come to completion without any idea what it could represent. Only after I had spent time with each painting, did the red shape suggest a mountain that reminded me of Mt Fuji with the everpresent sea below, and in the case of Breach of a dam wall overflowing with water. Research into Japanese Okiyo-e woodcuts and in particular the 36 views of Mt Fuji by Hokusai, led me directly into The Big Wave. In the case of Lost at Sea, it was the red shapes and the net-like lines I drew over them that suggested the horrifying thought of being ‘lost at sea’. Where as in Iceberg melting the shapes and and hot colours both in the sky and water suggested the subject matter quite early on.The 5 paintings relate to each other in palette, but also in the reoccurring motifs of water and mountain, change and stability. During this time of uncertainty while we grapple with a pandemic, the largely unheeded ecological and political shifts continue to cause mass migration, global warming, melting ice, wild fires and excessive rainfall.
- Tanja Truscott