267 Church Street, Richmond 3121

P: (03) 9427 0140

gallery@charlesnodrumgallery.com.au

— Artist Statement

I paint to place my work within current dialogue and future history. Everything I make becomes a contribution towards the legacy of Abstract Art. That’s the context that I see for my work and that’s the view that I have from here and now, but it’s not the only way I see my work - I paint to find the painting itself, I paint to search for myself within my work.

I don’t think my paintings have changed as much as I have, but they are changing in a way that is similar to how I am. I see why I make paintings more clearly, the reasons being increasingly difficult to explain. I think of these reasons and find myself in dialogue with them when I am working. I see and follow them in my work more than anything else.

When painting I find myself focusing on methodology most of the time. My fascination lies with the process of consciously producing something while evading predetermined outcomes. I use paint not only as the specific thing that it is, but also as the medium that renders the thinking that has brought the painting into being. I constantly strive for an artwork that is both essential and complex; complex via essential means.

I always aim for a synthesis of forms. I work from within a research-based situation where results and consequent decisions are made mid-painting. Expectations are loose, vectors of development constantly flex and acceptance of results is consciously open. My work is a response to temporal impulse, a kind of coming-to-terms with an idea as it shifts, changes and gradually reveals itself in physical form. My work is not only about elements, principles and visual aspects…I see that it’s made up from them, but to me the painting is most importantly a locus of activity, a point of transferal between myself (who is offering and giving), and the artwork (which is growing and developing and emerging).

I see the painting as a crux of energy, a fulcrum for that process of seesawing between intuition and response. My paintings are the site for the description of what is found within them.

Formal aspects such as edges, geometry, patternation, colour, texture, surface, layering and translucency (amongst others) are what I use to map the painting as I make it – by me, for my own purposes, so that I can move towards its finding. I use the formal and the visible to guide the process of production, to see me through to some kind of resolution in the end. With them I search for a painting’s final form.

To many, it must seem contradictory to use geometric abstraction to engage with intuition. But to me it feels as though reductive painting, with its distillation and concentration allows for essential signs to be directly seen, felt and acted upon. With some kind of cosmological spirit, I see my work as a mixture of simultaneously universal and personal principles. The work that I make is sensitive and always connected to the situation in which it is made.

Consciously or otherwise, I always come back to how a surface can hold content and evoke narrative. The abstract painting is by its own nature never completely knowable. It seems as if the abstract painting is somehow impervious to time - embedded within it, but also able to evade it by operating beyond it.

To make a painting is to search for it. A painting needs to be found for it to be made. Nothing is found without that process of the search. It’s an endless, self-reflexive process. It is what I always find myself doing - searching.

 

Justin Andrews
July 2021


Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.