Studio Shot with  Fantasia II  (Photo by Ibrahim Abusitta)

Studio Shot with Fantasia II (Photo by Ibrahim Abusitta)

FORTH AND BACK
Presented at Peter Robertson Gallery, Edmonton, AB, September-October 2018

Photography by Ibrahim Abusitta

Forth and Back is a series of pairs of paintings that continue my exploration of the opposing forces of freedom and constraint. In each pair, one of the paintings displays my typically unrestrained, intuitive approach, while the other demonstrates an attempt to replicate the composition of the first – a highly constrained, pre-determined experiment. What began as a playful exercise became a purposeful analysis and deconstruction of a previously instinctive method. In challenging myself to duplicate the marks and painterly accidents observed in the first piece, I was required to significantly deepen my understanding of both my materials and approach to painting.

In pausing to reflect on and identify the nuances within my process, a number of questions arose: How does one replicate a gesture in an authentic way without the work feeling contrived? What are the relative benefits of the planned and the unplanned? Where is the border between premeditation and contrivance? How does one engage with and find meaning in the repetitive and the predictable? Is it possible to simultaneously refine and expand a work of art? 

By deliberately concealing the order of the paintings for the exhibition, I invited the viewer to compare and contrast their differentiating elements, and to speculate on the correct ordering of each pair. Through the necessary extended viewing, I hope to induce a meditation on the force/flow dichotomy similar to my own.