Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Beth Harland

'Zone 3', Oil on Canvas, 2004

My recent works reflect upon the impact of contemporary visual technologies on our experience and perceptions of the world, and on the space of painting as a practice.
The series of paintings entitled Zone sources digital images of everyday discarded objects, arranged on a tabletop, repeatedly manipulated to suggest altered landscapes. The elusive texture of memory is explored as still life and landscape genres merge and different depths and states of mind are evoked simultaneously. The painted border mediates the image; it is not quite part of, nor outside of the work.
In the digital realm, oppositions of figure/ground disperse, enabling multiple positions, fluid structure and slippage. In the paintings, boundaries are blurred and flawed, images partially absorbed, experienced perhaps with senses other than the visual. The work references Gilles Deleuze’s writing on haptic visuality – a close range vision that bridges our perception of the retinal and the tactile. He describes a layered surface density inviting vision that both spreads out and is drawn in – a fluctuating figure/ground. This flickering, double picture space, potentially brings together past, present and future onto the screen of the painting as it moves between surface and depth, thinking and inscribing.


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