The exhibition, PASSAGES, features paintings by John Michaels and Ken Walker that explore themes of conflict and oppression. While Walker’s paintings capture an individualistic point of view, Michael’s pieces show pattern and repetition in their portrayals of the masses. Although differing in perspective both artists express present and lasting emotion.
I've always been intrigued by repetition. As a child my bedroom was decorated with a mottled navy blue and white wallpaper. It was an all over pattern, but each bit of the print had its own character. If I looked long and hard enough I could see images of faces, animals, people, vehicles; All sorts of things were discovered in those smears and spots. Much like when one looks up into a cloudy sky filled with cumulus clouds identifiable images form. At times the splotches on the wallpaper looked like formations in a military parade.
I also collected toy soldiers when I was a kid and was attracted to the colorful outfits, the sculpted stiffness and the uniformity of their actions. A few years back I started finding images on the internet that reminded me of these patterns, apparently this interest stuck with me and I started painting these images.
When we observe our lives we sometimes encounter the emotion of anger. Whether felt or experienced, anger seems to be one of the most pervasive emotion that often reveals an aggressive side of one’s personality. Although, examining this emotional trait maybe suited for the professional, we as individuals must prepare ourselves to take measure when confronted with it.
As children anger has been displayed in our emotions and follows us as a defense mechanism, but hopefully it does not define us. There are some when hard pressed by this emotion take a deeper turn to hatred, violent, greed and crime. For example, in the ancient writings in the Book of Genesis, Cain killed his brother Able out of jealousy and anger. This insidious seed has been passed down throughout centuries to present times.
This body of work is the expression of thoughts that I have worked on parallel with other works for a decade. This is the first showing of these works of art. The idea is not to express darkness but to temper our thoughts about the emotion of anger with color, form, time and patience. Likewise, these works were created to promote awareness, self-control and a boldness to move forward in peace.