Is Painting Nostalgic?


BEDROOM-RORSCHACH-WEB2Memory is where I start. A core dislocation, the sadness, a lie that I tell myself.  To start.

There is longing but also relief.

There is no going back. There are limits but there is potential. I was meant to be here……..

When it’s going in the right direction nostalgia disappears. You don’t look back and risk that your experience of the potential of desire, of joy, of beauty will disappear, vanish before you have sense enough to recognize it. Leaving not much in its place but longing and regret.


The point is to keep going, make the moves. Poised then forward, poised then forward. Until the moment when finally you have to assess…

This is the danger point, where the rot can set in.  Where you start crying in your beer.

The challenge is to walk the line between formal consideration of materials and the impulse that has brought you here. Make decisions but keep the door open.

Painting is not storytelling. Not a lyric poem. Not sung round the fire.

It is an act, a pulse, the intersection of energy and materials.

Something gestural, of the moment, overlaid on something neutral.  Hopefully done in such a way that you suspend your disbelief in the assembly of materials and are drawn away somewhere else altogether. ..

‘It is the present and its potentialities that we are nostalgic for’

Walter Benjamin


Sheila Black, Lynne Thermann and I will be exhibiting work at an exhibition called Nostalgia/Analgesic which is opening at the Old Ambulance Depot in Edinburgh in October 2013 (opening night is Halloween 31st Oct)

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