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Fred Dott

Wandering Lake

Wandering Lake was developed from a watercolour sketch and translated to scale using a geometrical process that was applied more loosely than other works. There is a consistent rhythm of circles that form perfect squares; the disturbances in the pattern are created by the arcs of circles I use to measure and delineate the size of the actual canvas that wraps around the stretcher bars and how the picture will sit on the picture plane. Another thing I haven’t mentioned before is that the works that feature circles and geometry are all painted by mounting the canvas to the wall and then stretching the finished work on the stretcher bars at the end. This means I do not actually see the final composition until after it is stretched, which I really like – it removes a bit of control over the final image.

I enjoy the surprise of seeing the geometry running through the organic elements and the realization that the lake, in particular, is an interesting representation of the ‘unmoved mover’ of Taoist philosophy – the ‘legs’ appear to move the figure but the geometry running through the water seems to hold the character in place. It also reminds me of Foucault’s concept of the writer as someone who appears in their work through the disturbances and peculiarities they create in the act negotiating the field of language in the broadest sense, which would include the manner in which they mis/use grammar, figures of speech, punctuation, silences, and what is left unsaid in a text.