the man in the sun
This is a guest column written by Alexandra Leda Green (@miscellanea_arts on Instagram), a very talented artist who is contributing to the project.
When I heard about The Damp Water Spot project I was drawn to the idea of getting to see multiple artists from a variety of disciplines draw inspiration from the same source. I think a lot of us are interested to see an artist's quirks made identifiable by the use of a universal subject matter as in the popular ‘draw this in your style’ challenge.
But with this project the challenge is much more multi-faceted, I want to respond to what I see in Paul Cannell's work in my piece, not just translate it into my style. For example, Cannell’s bold, expressive mark-making shows incredible artistic bravery I often struggle w ithin my own work which tends towards smaller tightly rendered pieces. I hope to express these larger marks while also working with my detail-oriented strengths, to channel Cannell’s style and techniques while avoiding simple pastiche and retaining my own voice in the mix.
In my preliminary collecting of repeated motifs and colours, I quickly became aware of just how much the psychedelic sun symbol dominates any search result on Cannell and his art, to the point where it began to seem like an entity in its own right.
In response to this, I started sketching and imagining the symbol inhabiting 3D space as a character of its own, one which developed more naturalistic features under the bold mark-making.
It functions as a literal representation of the art having a life of its own transcending its creator while the inclusion of the more human features is a reminder that there is a still a person behind the art obscured despite or even because of the symbols prominence. To me, it's in creating this art and exploring Cannell's techniques that I can attempt to scratch the surface of who he may have been or at least what he means to me.
After accruing as much imagery of Cannell's work I could, I’ve developed an interest in the recurring colours which don’t immediately jump out when looking at Cannell's works, the subdued blues, greiges, ochres and mauves which help the primary reds, blues and golden yellows pop. Thematically these oft present but less striking colours fit with my 'man inside the sun' figure who is present but not always seen.
The alternative version used for the single release of Higher Than the Sun pulls these tones front and centre cementing it as the specific variant of the symbol I will be drawing from the most.
With my concept starting to take root I'm experimenting with using oil, acrylic and whatever else I can get my hands on to try and capture those textured brushstrokes I was so enthralled (and intimidated) by. I like to create images that suggest at a wider narrative or world so I plan to craft an environment of mark-making by layering my brushstrokes on transparent acetate sheets bringing Cannel's motifs into a 3d space. My sun figure to be part 2d paint on acetate and part 3d clay to try and blend the line between a painting and physical space.
Alexandra Leda Green is an insanely talented artist and I am extremely excited to see more from her. For more of her work - visit her Instagram at @miscellanea_arts