Studio thoughts on painting thinness

by Helen Barker

I recently spent some time in the studio playing with materials. I want to make work that embraces the liquid nature of paint. I like that, essentially, paint is a liquid and therefore quite unpredictable. Painting on aluminium makes sense to me at the moment; the ‘canvas’ is flattened and closer to a wall, paper or surface which resists object-ness (athought I’m attempting to keep clear of all modernist implications).  I’m most excited by the prospect of a two dimensional space on which the paint can faintly rest.

Thinned paint provides a ghostly image which reminds me of a watermark or residual stain or screen burn. The images I’m working with stem from photogrpahs,  screen captures and video games. Drawing them out with oil is like rewinding the development process on a roll of film, pausing prior to the fully developed image – seeing the suggestion of an image, as though it were pixelated or corrupted by the process of its production.

Interesting article on the resolution/imperfection of contemporary image making here:  In Defense of the Poor Image by Hito Steyerl.