Saturday 30 May 2009

Scott Silvey @ Whitespace

There is a temptation to address what these works are not,rather than what they are. This is somehow appropriate in a manner that gives the work yet another layer of perspective. What is not there any longer is human presence. Or is it?
A driving curiousity of Silvey's is the relationship that human thought and its engineered manifestations has with naturally occuring growth. His paintings represent a silent and emptied version of the classic battle of man versus nature. The unbridled organic in nature,as of course exists in plants and all life,quietly maintains.It is a comparison in ways of logic and emotion. Emotion is found straddling or sharing qualites between man and nature.It is in its unregimented persistance to be. It assists in acknowledging a viable or conceivable spirit that humankind leaves behind. Human's mark as a solid thing unto itself seems to reach so far. It is an angular or logical footprint. It is something very tangible and very subject to decay and eventual disappearance. But there is an after image,one that echoes the endless cycle of life that vegetative growth goes through. A certainty that lingers in our aging bodies and minds is that our cycle will,regardless of however long, eventually succumb. While architectural designs are ridged and static things,the solemn stillness they maintain reverberates for now and into unspecified ages to come. When contrasted with the the "aloneness" of fertile movement of plant life,it reveals this awaremness even more. A sentient presence wants to whisper around the corners. It laughs in the paintings by showing us strange useless machines of specific purpose,now somehow ironically even more silent than the empty buildings.
Silvey's paintings are done on the wood grain of half inch thick panel. He makes skillfull use of their porous nature. Washes of color pull out delicate drawings. Upon close examination,there seems to be a purposeful remainder of the draftsman's presence. The technically rendered indications of buildings have a clinical perfection that specifies their mood,giving them a distance that is appealing on a logical and organized level. Their flatness is perhaps wanting to be reminiscent of the quality of a blueprint,reinforcing the logical and planned nature to humankind's structures.
They are vibrant and gentle and emanate a stillness. A silence seems to recur,one that is warm and inviting. It coaxes the atmosphere,reinforcing this with a very rusty tone that seems to sit beneath many of the pieces.
Ultimately,the paintings are attractive and engaging on an aesthetic level.They serve this purpose well. In saying something, seem to not be able to resist leaving one with a vague haunted sensation. The comfort of pleasant living imagery prevails,though. The foremost thought is of green living growth,inspite of the abandoned background and its wires draped through strange alien hues of possibly polluted but beautiful skylines.

1 comment:

  1. I might have a differing deduction from the value of such contrast than Mr. Silvey but he sure does get it right on wood. His paintings definitely made my eyes go back and look again at some of the streets and ravines and wire interwoven.



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