M A R G A R E T ellen T U R N E R: about painting 

Inevitably an artist ends up writing about her work. For media releases, for statements to accompany exhibitions, or simply in order to articulate the ideas that engage the mind about the work that is emerging from the canvas.

These words always come after the act of painting, when the work is finished, and do not attempt to explain the content of the work. There is no explanation for that. The works exist in their own context which is in large part the context of the viewer.

Words are a tool with which I am familiar because my first training was as a journalist and novelist. I find that training most useful when it comes to putting my work on to the public stage. Contemporary audiences are not sophisticated in their use of visual language, although this is set to change as visuals become an increasingly pervasive attribute of the 21st century milieu. From the Enlightenment until now, as literacy in both women and men became widespread, text has prevailed over images as the primary means of communication.

Thus words are useful for a contemporary audience approaching art work that is not immediately recognisable as a category of object, such as sea or landscape or portrait. Humans don’t particularly want art work that takes time and engagement to understand. They are busy people with multiples of their own ideas cascading through their minds. To stop, look out from their busy internal lives and “listen’ to what is there, takes commitment and time and desire. Hopefully with words we can create that desire in the viewer..

Sunday Mail Article

Article In SALT

The Matriarchs.

Remembering Ruby Gap 2019
About the work in artwork, 20.2.2014
Space Invaders, 29.1.14

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