1 The maternal matrix

Untitled i, 2009.Oil on Canvas. 78x68cm
Untitled i, 2009.Oil on Canvas. 78x68cm

Mobilising a set of traces (travel though and collaged photographs of the forest tunnels of Kent, United Kingdom) this painting (Untitled i) started out from fragmentary impulses registered as small ever-mutating organic fractals in paint. This chiasmic and generative process informs all these paintings and registers a method of painting that unsettles the subject-object dichotomy and mobilises the energies of an infinite and becoming matrix, one which I choose to mark as maternal. I do so, not in terms of any essential or archaic mother, but because the maternal has both a political and personal charge. Politically, the feminine maternal continues to operate as a disruptive negativity, variously theorised in feminism, post–structural philosophy and psychoanalysis. Insofar as these paintings traverse the contours of a metaphorical and generative maternal body, they also register some of the impact of these immense discourses. For example, this blinding tunnel/ hole/ threshold framed by rosy fluttering ‘lips’ invites/ threatens entry into an infinite bodily interior; one in which we are birthed out of/seduced back into the (maternal) matrix.

These authentic political and psychic adventures notwithstanding, personally I understand my practice as an elaboration of my mother’s numinous project, one never properly articulated. For like her, the landscape ‘speaks’ to me and its’ calls, registered as fleeting events, service the production of similarly evanescent and ‘magical’ moments as I turn ‘blind’ painterly motifs into vital fractals, which in repetition amass and produce a particular kind of startling, unspeakable and performative excess.


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