Project info

Artist statement for "The New Gargoyles Project" (2016)

"The new gargoyles" is a group of works that explores the consequences of oppression, repression and the lack of control we have over our lives and of our longing for personal freedom.

The paintings are based on the study of old architectural statuary, particularly grotesques and gargoyles. These two forms are literally part of an ideological structure but the ambiguity and multi-layered nature of their meaning creates tensions. They can be demons entrapped as they land and/or protectors of the building. They are both part of the fabric of the church and subvert it by their appearance and behaviour. Grotesques find their way inside the building by suppressing their evil impulses and complying with the system. Yet gargoyles can dutifully throw water clear of the walls and seem to attempt to leap free of them at the same time.

The construction of several of the pictures began with building a 3D surface structure designed to make creating the intended image as difficult as possible, resulting in a painting process of response and negotiation. The paint application, the representational aspects and the theme then developed in parallel under the same constraints. Painting the gargoyles under these conditions meant experiencing thwarted free will, oppression and self-imposed artistic repression.

This body of work uses the old statuary as a metaphor for our own situation and the images produced reflect the inner psychological world social constraints create.

See the "The New Gargoyles Project" images.