Between mosaics and digital images, recurring currents persist. The pixel, the tesserae, the point; the singular element that works to form the whole combines with its kin in resolution. Whole in itself, each varied element takes on a parallel context within its wider image. This is a mode of downward abstraction. Like getting up close with a billboard advertisement, the particles appear ever more alien from the total image they help to form.
Within and without ever burgeoning technologies, fundamental modalities possess new hardware like smoky liquid. In these artworks, the intersections of varying resolution styles highlight persistent modes of image creation across time.
Slim densities of concrete, lime, paint and paper images lock against mosaic structures on linen. Using sanders, the layers of material are excavated and enmeshed, forming a sculpted surface. The surface takes on an ontological fusion. Stripped back pixelated prints tarry alongside layers of terrazzo style concrete paint. The confluence of ancient, contemporary, artistic and labour methods expresses itself as an overlapping, iconoclastic swell – a kind of city ecology.
Utilising contemporary construction materials, I draw together renaissance methodologies to conflate material histories of labour and artistic production. The works blur distinctions between figure and ground, between the focused and the periphery, between utilitarianism and sheer poetics.
My concern is with merging the history of art with the back drop of the city itself – infusing the conscious experience of viewing art, architectural patinas and advertising material with the hazily unconscious, liminal dream space of footpaths, traffic islands and public infrastructure. The works register a confluence between shared, historicised narratives of conscious propagation and the internalised psychic imaginaries that leave quiet, physical traces within city blocks.
Expressing material transitions between liquid and solid states, the work combines seemingly disparate elements into integrated wholes.
Paint, waste, plastics, pigments, dust, stones, sand, dye and earth are mixed with concrete and cast into solid forms. These forms/sculptures become the subject and primary material for installations and paintings. For the paintings, the forms and are broken up and ground down into hand-dyed canvases.
The paintings and sculptures build a dialogue between transhistorical technologies, transitional earth cycles and the contemporary challenge to integrate problematic materials into functional networks.
Contact Nick Millen