3D Painting

As far as I can remember and decipher, this piece grew from an analysis of two parallel ways of working with photographic images as well as the long process of rock formation. Firstly, I was using a camera designed to create ‘motion pictures’ – in particular a Lomokino super 35mm camera, as an instrument to create still images that tell a story despite the lack of (illusory) movement. In this case I was removing something in order to put it back in according to my own preferences.

Secondly, I was also using a camera designed to make still images – in particular a Nikon F5 with 7fps frame rate, as a way of creating ‘movies’ from a rapid succession of stills.

These two methods were linked by the fact that what I had essentially done was to resist the design in order to do something different. From this, I began to think of how this concept might be applied elsewhere within an artistic context. Besides using a ruler to draw circles, I also thought about using paint to make ‘sculptures’.

Photography is a simplification process in which 3-dimensional space is compressed into 2-dimensional imagery. The nature of photographs is similar to playing a trick on someone, in that the eye and the brain of the viewer are distracted by the raw image itself, while process, purpose, and history are all hidden from view.

A ‘fast thinking’ or system 1 approach to viewing images seems to be the default, so we must handle the subject differently if we are to go beyond the surface and pure aesthetics. The idea behind the 3-D painting is to mimic the compression and trickery inherent in photography, with a canvas that is seemingly composed of a single line, but when viewed from the side we are able to glimpse the complexity and pinpoint individual stages of the creation process, like a sample of rock or the rings of a tree. Both photography and traditional painting merely show end results in the form of a final surface. With these pieces I was also interested in exploring the characteristics of acrylic paint that are not present in watercolour, or illustration using pencil or ink for example. The ability to create ‘images’ in full relief and not simply texture is an area to be explored further.