PURE ENLIGHTENMENT

2009, Oil on Linen, 100 x 100cm

Finalist, the 2010 City of Albany Art Prize

At the beginning of the eighteenth century Western civilisation underwent a profound change in its thinking. More or less simultaneously throughout Europe, the British Isles, Scandinavia & Russia, the old ideas concerning theocracy, oligarchy, aristocracy and the divine right of kings were replaced with new ideals based upon self-governance, natural rights, natural law, individual rights and the application of reason.

With a central emphasis on liberty, the ultimate result was the gradual granting of more freedom for the common people. This movement became known as The Age of Enlightenment. Although sometimes used in a secular context, the modern term continues its18th century origin, referring to education. Beyond the obvious benefits of career and financial reward, it is through education in every aspect of the human endeavour - from scientific discoveries through environmental awareness to racial and gender relations - that defines the future for humanity. Thus with the application of reason and the pursuit of wisdom, Enlightenment can be seen as a beacon towards the unknown, lighting the path forward. 
 
Pure is a series that explores humanity in an unconventional way. On the surface they could be seen as just moody skies. But to dismiss them so would be to miss the point: the clouds provide each painting was grounding in reality, but their main purpose is to provide a linking yet changing backdrop against which complex foreground dramas unfold. Unusually, with these paintings the titles are as important as the works themselves, as they alert the viewer to the fact that they are not witnessing merely a scene, but that each is a quirky metaphor for a particular personality characteristic. With the combination of title and image, deeper meanings emerge, triggering the opening chapters to an endless array of stories the viewer is invited to create