(Above) Detail 'Dark Materials'.
'Dark Materials' is a series of artworks that use a combination of silicone adhesive (a particular brand called 'Fixall') in place of oil paint, black velvet in place of canvas. A version of black paintings, black on black, a fight: silicone versus velvet. Framed in matt black frames, at the periphery, inner side fillets are counter-painted in pastel shades.
Although these are part of the ongoing formal exploration of working with silicone, they have absorbed and reflect particular associations of the time period they have been made within. Perhaps like Goya's extreme 'Black Paintings', they carry an undercurrent of despair. Their title is appropriated from Phillip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' a trilogy of novels currently dramatised for TV. A title that Pullman himself has taken from a phrase (and critiques) Milton's epic poem 'Paradise Lost'. Undertaken around the winter solstice, maybe they simply mark the furthest distance from the light, that will return.
The silicone is hand extruded with a caulking gun, using placement, strength, distance as variations of technique that are tested in the moment and responded to, subsequently evolving across each panel. Applied vertically, the shiny silicone tentatively adheres to the matt surface of the velvet, sometimes almost pulling away, sometimes gripping almost flat. Trailing drips stretch out between slugs or hang outwards, upwards, downwards. Carefully isolated until fully cured, the silicone turns into solid form and the panels then archivally framed like museum specimens.
Wall group of four, 2022
'Fixall' (black silicone adhesive), on black velvet, on archival board panels, cured attached. Matt black box frames with custom painted fillets, museum glass.
29cm h x 24cm w x 5cm d each