‘Darest thou now O soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any
path to follow?
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)
‘You’re half in control, half knowing, half absolutely not knowing. There’s a liminal space of not-mind and not-body that painting activates for the painter. Painting is about getting on the edge of language.’
For me, abstract painting is a kind of non verbal language. Words not only interrupt the process, they can get me lost amongst the warrens of the mind. When the conditions are right - fields of imagery arise that emanate not from the seen world but from a realm at the end of the imagination. Like a dream, they can disappear into the world of the unconscious before there has been a chance to capture them.
Painting can sometimes drive me crazy. It can be allusive and untameable. Even when you know what you are looking for, something will happen - a perfect awkward fragility that insists on changing the direction. And you have to go with it.
The main appeal is the not-knowing… it leaves an open door to a reality that is usually invisible. These rare moments of ‘not-mind’ open up unchartered territories, new pathways are forged, serendipitous marks fall into place.
For all this to happen though, the collisions, the contradictions and the destructions need to be welcomed. They are all necessary conditions in order to attain those elusive moments of clarity.
Marisa Purcell, 2018