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Photo: Fred Dott


HOW is a meditation on the word in terms of its use – simultaneously – as a question and as a statement. 

HOW followed WHY in my process, in painting, of exploring the materialization of words in their conceptual dimension. This wasn’t exactly my plan, but I do think a good “how” is much easier and potentially more pleasurable if it follows a good “why.” If I’m being even more honest, painting HOW was the much needed break that I mentioned in the description of the WHY painting on this website. I took the opportunity to deeply explore the hows of painting – the layering of colours, the interweaving of circles, patterns, and forms to create and dissolve figures and grounds – while repeatedly moving from order to chaos and back again. I often wondered if I would be able to pull this image together. 

Thematically speaking, I am continuing to envision the climate crisis and the greater unpredictability of the weather. A primary motif ended up being clouds, not only because of their usefulness as things to project onto, but more vitally because the clouds in Bremen are probably one of the most beautiful things this city has to offer.

If I were to try to say something about the “how” in my work: I associate the act of seeing with writing and the act of looking with reading. I struggle to remember singular facts; in order to retain something, I prefer to enter it into a pattern. When I cast my gaze beyond my arm’s length, I see a world of incredibly complex, interweaving systems and patterns. Some are visible, but most are invisible. They are sensed or known through hearing, smelling, touching, and thinking. Or it’s a matter of spending time with things to understand how they operate. Some patterns I see have been captured and described by other means of abstraction such as those preferred by the natural sciences. And then there’s all the data flying about our heads that is continually being sucked up by smartphones, and straight into peoples’ eyes. This kind of sensory density is what I find sublime – indescribably beautiful and horrific in equal measure.