Artist’s Statement

Christian McLeod, May 2010

Painting is my way of remembering and interpreting beauty and destruction. I begin by viewing reality as composed of layers of colour and shape, observing the way light reflects off an object, and the tension objects generate when placed next to or on top of each other. Landscapes from a great distance become a single object. I try to capture the shift between perceiving the landscape as an organic whole, and seeing the particles that comprise it – buildings, rivers, vehicles, birds, harbours, roadways, minerals, machinery, aircraft, farms, data cables, people in movement.

Heaps of paint are placed, plotted and pushed. For some works this process can take years. For others, the image forms within days. I love the tactile movement of paint across the canvas, but fully half my time in the studio is spent looking, searching the surface of the painting for points of entry. Paintings are worked and reworked, images accumulate. I tend to work on several pieces simultaneously, exploring different themes in each one.

My paintings live with the involvement of the viewer, in the transference of colour and movement which forms the narrative. My interest in the shift between macro and micro views – a century and a half ago, photography liberated painting from the task of representation; today, satellite imagery redefines how we perceive our landscape and environment, and thus blurs the line between abstraction and representation. I operate in that gap between abstraction and representation, between the bird’s-eye view and the microscope.