“To be a good painter, you have to be a bit stupid”
The act of painting; It’s like creating a flame by rubbing two sticks together. The discipline isn’t always efficient. It’s messy, materially and conceptually, but the process is spiritual and the resolution, magic.
Passionate and romantic, the small colourful works on raw wood paneling present folksy imaginings. Just as Rousseau painted the jungles of Africa without ever leaving Paris in his lifetime, my dreams are other-worldly, and I struggle to realize them in paint.
The process of painting straight onto unprimed building material, is reminiscent of work by Australian outlaw artist Ian Fairweather. My methods are partly a result of my fascination with outsider painters. The work also touches on the psychedelic notion of hallucination, seeing crawling visions in inanimate objects and walls.
Ghosts are real, they live in our subconscious, they are the shadow part of human love. The past is all we have. Everything that is dead, or extinct, still exists on another plain. In my paintings ghosts are acknowledged, the past is captured, and immortalized.
The Thylacine became extinct in the 1930s, at the same time the surrealists were hitting their stride in Europe. The marsupial is from Tasmania, (a small island off the South of Australia) the creature stands as a symbol of exoticism in Australasia. Proud but lonely this Tiger is painted bigger than life, bigger than me. He stands in a futurist environment, space like. He has transcended, and exists on another plain.
It is said that children can’t differentiate between inanimate objects and living things. When I was very young, 3 or 4, I had no real friends; I created them out of paper and cardboard, the same size as me. It was wonderfully fulfilling! It still is.
Dyana Gray 2011