There is an overriding interest in the creative tension between content and structure in my work. I do think in terms of narratives and themes to each series of paintings but the actual process of making is also the key idea. There is as much obliteration and erasure in the development of the paintings as construction, a lot of improvisation as structures are tested as much as composed.
The stories in Ovid’s metamorphosis are a recurrent source but also incidental moments from memory can get reworked into narratives. Scale is important, epic themes collide with the trivial or commonplace. Phaethon and festivals of Venus (Veneralia) are important themes in recent work. In Ovid’s story of Phaethon, the impetuous son of Pheobus loses control of the horses and chariot of the sun creating chaos in the scorched, burning heavens and earth. Paintings by Rubens and the landscapes of Chuck Jones (Wiley Cayote and Roadrunner) have been instrumental for ideas of imagery, movement and theatricality. In ‘Changer of Hearts’ entangled marks suggest teeming appetites and sensuality, they play against inset visions of guilt and judgment as part of the ‘Veneralia’ series.
In Fortune and Folly, a solo show in 2019, Velasquez ‘Spinners’ was a starting point for several paintings. The themes of painting and weaving was central; layers of paint formed a tapestry-like surface connecting swipes, smears and tangles into shifting images and spaces. The narrative source focused on Arachne and Minerva to consider questions of creative ambition, the intoxicating forces of power and the contested relationship between art and craft. The paintings attempted to create a flickering vision of female artistry and industry.