These three paintings are of similar ideas, especially the first two. The first is an early form of abstraction relating to Brain Damage and recovery. I did over 700 sketches before I attempted painting, so it was a long process that has taken me over four years to get to that point. It’s called 5 circles and 2 points Outwith. The circles are broken into sections and reconnected to other circles and the two points outside of the circles. It’s like the damage done is the broken circles but the brain is clever and reconnects, moving around the damaged areas. Even though there is repair, the connections have taken an alternative route, so things are never the same as before. The two points outwith are external influences. This early form was later changed as I removed the outside influences.
The second painting has no outside influences. The original sketch was of diving on the A96 between the two Inverurie roundabouts on the one day a year the sun sets atop of the road. There’s a lot more random mark-making in it too. This relates to a later form of abstraction where I outline rather than repair inconsistencies in the painting. In a sense, I’ve come to terms with brain damage and make use of it in a constructive way.
The third painting represents the chaos I sometimes find myself in. I call it The Treasure Map. A river, a tree, a train a whale, and even The Effel Tower are in it. Apart from the river at the top of the painting. None of the other mentioned items were there intentionally, they appeared as the painting progressed. Like making sense of the turmoil and giving it structure. This work changes with the light. Things reveal themselves at different times. In a way, I suppose it represents the somewhat crazy path my life has taken.
All three paintings are the largest I have done since leaving art school in 2002. I paint and make sculptures on a daily basis. It all relates to a traumatic motorcycle accident I had at 17, thirty-nine years ago! The recovery has been a lifetimes journey. Art is my therapy.
By Anthony John Holderness