Helen Johnson Live at the ObeliskOpening: Tuesday 24 February, 6-8pm Dates: 24 February-13 March 2004
Painting serves as the primary ground of my practice, though the approaches I take seek an understanding of painting as a loaded medium operating on new terms in a post-medium condition. I have an interest in how painting might be used as a means of addressing and reflecting on aspects of cultural identity in an open way, which I might position against a declarative way. Painting is an interesting vehicle for me because it is loaded, neurotic, problematised, a market force, scattered, essentialised and recomplexified, loathed, able to operate simultaneously within and beyond itself, able to be beautiful and horrible at the same time. My approach to painting divagates from a grounding in figuration in search of a space of pluralism and openness, where the privilege of the subject becomes slippery. A gesture, alive in one painting, might be deadened through mechanised replication in the next. Figures begin to merge with their backgrounds. Construct and intuition ask questions of one another. The space of painting is for me a space where seemingly incontrovertible things are constantly being reconsidered, put into new relations with other things, where slippage is always present. In this regard it is a useful space for thought.