Saturday, 16 May 2015

Artists Statement Ashley Hanson

In all my work, I am intrigued by the impact of image on the flat, map-like, painter’s space, and the dialogue and tension between the different realities of information and imagination - between what inspires and drives the paintings and the uncertainties and excitement of the painting process.  As an artist I crave/need surprise, not sameness: it is what you ‘do’ with the source material that matters, a piece must be its own thing, have its’ own life.  Journeys, places, books, music, all generate ideas, providing catalyst and context, and colour always excites, but until it is resolved, a painting is a live thing, full of possibilities.

In his forward to ‘Il Mistero de Cattedrell’, Anselm Keifer wrote: ‘If there is too much order, it is dead; if there is too much chaos, it doesn’t cohere. I’m continually negotiating between these two extremes.’ Freedom and control is the contradiction of painting: finding the balance is the essence of my work.  

For nearly four years I have been working on the ‘City of Glass series, inspired by ‘The New York Trilogy’, a novel by Paul Auster. It is thrilling to be working from another artform, combining images sourced from narrative and text with memories of my own experience of New York. As a painter I can relate to Auster’s striking imagery and complex layerings of identity and truth and his acknowledgement and explorations of chance.  

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