Dionysus – Transformation and Renewal
An exhibition of paintings and drawings
Cessnock Regional Art Gallery,17 Jan – 25 Feb 2012 Dionysus, well-known as the Greek god of wine, was also revered and celebrated as the God of the arts and creativity.
Ancient Greeks saw Dionysus’ story of cyclic death and rebirth as creating the seasonal cycle of the vine and also symbolic of Nature’s pattern of life. The springing of new life from the apparently dead vine, blossoming and bearing fruit ,the destruction of the grape to create wine, and the vines again apparent demise after the harvest.
Ancient Greek culture valued balance and reason. Wine, creativity and arts were seen as outlets for the passions. The energetic and sometimes violent agents of transformation in the human psyche were given voice. Change was acknowledged as part of a greater continuity.
I found this metaphor particularly appropriate for this exhibition – my first major showing of my abstract works after many years of exploring figurative art in my exhibited works.
I have always been restless in exploring different media and styles ,believing that creativity is the endless recognition of new patterns in the world and that I must not limit these possibilities.
This show comprises three distinct series, Urban Variations and City Noir, both “inner cityscape”-inspired oil paintings, “Drawings” psychological figurative charcoal work, and “Dionysus” the large mixed media sculpture. These represent the deceptively conflicting directions of the various series.
Their differences belie the commonalities of ideas and creative intuition which underpins them. The centrality of the body to all art and the complexity of the lived experience through the body is not given justice by ignoring valid means of expression.
The celebration of sensuality of colour, the’ ‘film noir’ inspired tonality, the tactile sexy expressiveness of gesture oil paint, the narrative implied by figurative images and the encompassing stimulus of being in the urban space are all mediated via the body -perception, expression, interpretation and response.
I feel that I have, through the transformative destruction of the body -from figure to abstraction, come to a renewal of my creative process.