Always Counting, Never Adding Up is an exhibition of new paintings. For this series of works I explore ideas of connection, inner and outer, as I try to find my way into the essence of painting. The title is inspired by James Elkins’ book, ‘What Painting Is’, where he describes the act of painting as ‘liquid thought’, and the painted surface as something from which it is impossible to extract isolated ideas and fixed meanings. According to Elkins, paint is so compelling because it is ‘always counting but never adding up.’
My paintings depict makeshift models, that I make out of different things such as card, clay, foam, found items, and painting materials, including discarded canvases and surplus oil paint scraped from my palette. My approach uses the medium as a language, as if it were to become an unpredictable structure for thinking and world-making. Humour, playfulness, and lightness are essential elements in the work: absurd and ridiculous images create juxtapositions that spark curiosity while textures and techniques shift impression depending on the distance they are being looked at from.
This work commences a 2-year project, funded by Creative Scotland, to develop my painting practice and exhibit. Always Counting, Never Adding Up sits alongside other exhibitions taking place this year including: ‘At Cross Purposes’, Oriel Môn, Wales and ‘Paintings: New work by Thomas Aitchison and Tim Dodds’ at Mote 102, Edinburgh and I am showing work in upcoming exhibitions in 2023 at QSS Studios Gallery, Belfast and Elysium, Swansea.