It is hard to separate the ideas from the work. While at the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design conceptualism reigned supreme. In a milieu that valued expressiveness and the ideas my interest in what an object looked like did not fit well. I balked at the general climate that dismissed my interest in realism and I spent a great deal of time thinking and working through the terms objective and subjective as they applied to realism.
In experiments, I found that a work produced while a person was drawing on their subjective experience contained contextual information. Drawings produced by a person who was ‘objectively’ analyzing and recording what was directly in front of them produced isolated details floating in a disassociated space. Supposedly subjective drawings tended to look more ‘real’ than the drawings that were ‘objective.’ I wondered if it was possible to be objective since the person/artist is a lens through which all experience passed? * Were the expressive styles artists using true visual representations of subjective experience or just a culturally accepted semiotic?
In retrospect, the ideas I explore in my work were set in motion by the conflict between my sense of being in this world and what I was being taught and told. I continue to be endlessly interested in my intuitive and logical sense of being here, in the question of, what is true? I have found correlations and elucidations to my own perceptions in concepts garnered from study in the fields of psychology, sociology, math, and physics. My material is generated by a focus on what I perceive, and coloured by my awareness of how the faculty of perception works and which elements can affect it. I question why we sort, organize and think about reality in the way we do? When is the knowing conscious, unconscious, logical, intuitive? Are these separations even correct or useful?
It is not a special idea, just a very old one: how do we know?
* (Nothing is in the mind which was not first in the senses--"'Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius fuerit in sensu.')