Monday, 20 August 2012

Work in progress: 'City of Glass 9- Fiction & Facts'

In progress- 'City of Glass 9: Fiction & Facts'


During the final session of 'City of Glass 6', it struck me that one of the piers at the southern tip of Manhattan resembled the letter 'L'. Then I remembered painting the perfect 'O' of  Madison Square Garden, introduced to the painting as a subtle 'maverick element'. The excitement grew and the idea for a new piece took hold, reconfirming the magic of working in series with the paintings feeding each other.

The most striking image in the novel, 'City of Glass', is that of Stillman, by the means of his daily walks, invisibly writing the words T.H.E  T.O.W.E.R. O.F. B.A.B.E.L. onto the streets of New York.
What if, instead of the fiction, all the letters of 'The Tower of Babel', actually existed in the 'facts' of the streets of New York? Some were easy to find, like 'A' in the angled intersections of Broadway, others, like 'B' and the 'W' (Greenwich Village) more difficult to find. I still have to find an 'R' but am confident it is there. I love the connection with the spirit of the novel and the other paintings in the series, that of a building being there but not there.

At this point, the idea is stronger than the painting- I want the letters to have a neon-glow- but this will be resolved. 'Detectives' was my original title for the series and is both the central theme of the novel and the paintings. In the novel, Quinn, a writer of detective-fiction, - by accident, design,chance,choice?- becomes a real detective. In turn, myself, the artist, becomes a detective, looking for ideas, images, inspiration in Paul Auster's words. Then the viewer becomes a detective, following my clues and visual notes and language in order to understand each piece, and in this painting the viewer will emulate Quinn and follow the letters and find the Tower of Babel.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ashley,
    It's lovely to see your paintings - I love the way your work is going, the colours and the compositions are great! I love the way that colour is directing your shapes and compositions and I really want to see them in the flesh. The paint surfaces must be really lush and beautiful. It's wonderful to hear how many shows you are exhibiting in. I also tried for the Cork Street open - didn't get in, though just got selected for a Mark Rothko residency. I look forward to meeting up in November! All best wishes from Fiona