DUNCAN
SIMCOE

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General Statement

 

Black Drawings

 

If I say to the darkness: ‘fall on me’, and to the night: ‘Hide                         me’, even the darkness is not dark to Thee, for the night                               shines as the day”

-Ps. 139

 

"The world is not a brute fact but like a myth or metaphor;                           semi-transparent”

-Iian McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary

The Black Drawings are a large and on-going body work work that allow me to explore personal, social and cultural provocations. Their language is transparency and the goal is the specificity of mystery worked largely through the tension between line drawing and the realised image. Strictly speaking, they are line paintings executed with oil paint and brushes. Because they use of tar paper as a substrate, the normal relationship between dark mark on light surface is reversed. Tarpaper is a material expression of darkness. It is opaque and literal. It is also a structural component of suburbia, the place I grew up in and the site of the Mythinburbia pictures. Suburbia was/is where the idea of normal existence was supposed to be played out within a fixed palette of colours, sounds, materials and secularised patterns of living. But it turned out to be more like Swiss cheese, with holes cut into cut into it by various means: night dreams of flying, the stained glass tableaus of Jesus in my church and Superman in the commix and Hercules on the box. It seemed like you stored your body and its desires in one place and lived with an elevated sense of horizon in the other; vibrating like light with the tension between them. I am always trying to allude to this tension in my work and enjoy the irony of making tar paper be an image-bearing surface, a conveyor of metaphor and therefore transparent. It feels like teaching the dumb to speak!