Opening Friday 18 March, 5.30 - 7.00pm
Exhibition continues to Saturday 9 April
This new work finds me more amanuensis than artist. I have spent the last year diligently writing things down, painting things up, copying things out, gathering data from the books and the news and the conversations at the kitchen tables. Hoping somehow we can take all the bits, the reference points, the collected information and make sense of it. Hoping somehow we can find a signal in the noise.
And if we do and we like what we see, or we don’t... Amor fati, my arms are wide.
Alexander Okenyo’s paintings and drawings patiently seek, hold and focus our attention. Each careful line is a counting stroke, a scratch to mark a passing, and from a distance, the marks effect a soft glow, a pale, cool light, as the artist tends to time intentionally spent.
Monotonal and meditative, Okenyo’s subjects are simple and silent. A bowl that catches the last light on its rim, an apple, an eye, a field of flowers in darkness. Partial figures caught in a moment of rest, repose or death; stillness is paramount to the image and instructive to the viewer.
There is a haunting though in all of this quiet: Okenyo singles out the fractured part as if under the blue light of an x-ray. The artist’s radiative attention to detail, painting as examination, mark making as exposure – but the discovery is stayed within the image as stillness descends like darkness.