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Works on Canvas
27 August to 20 September 2008

The material used to create these works is paper. The resources come from books, magazines, found and assorted realia, photocopies and so on. The range of research and possibilities for investigation are infinite which calls for restricting the palette when making images. Sourcing material is a constant and automatic activity and writing becomes a means of filtering, analysing and to some extent remembering. Triggers are an integral part of our visual and sensory memory and experiences. Sourcing material can be perceived as the action of triggering; adding meaning and enriching the appeal of the written word and its visual supports. As well as satisfying aesthetic and tactile senses, paper is also a conduit of information, knowledge and thoughts. The collector and user of resources knows that familiarity with the extent and limitations of the collection is vital. When pages of resource are stacked on top of each other, access becomes difficult. Books are a good storage format. Resources catalogued in formats such as folders, bound notes and accordion files can be accessed at anytime without interruption to the image making process.

Uncomplicated access to resources permits and facilitates the study and appreciation of information. The process of assemblage however, is not necessarily continuous. Sometimes it requires that you live with your objects so that they become part of your vocabulary. This system of living with your objects is common among artists including Francis Bacon who would trample daily all over his mounds of resource in the studio. It is quite similar to re-reading any book. Perceptions of information grow and change in short and long spaces of time. Of equal importance to methods of archiving and access is the issue of physical space. There seems to be no standard measurement of space for creating artworks and while some cannot perform without a large amount of space others work well in confinement. One can test out this principle through trial restrictions of not only space, but time and resource as well. In general these factors are personal to the individual creator and influence the uniqueness of the art object.

In producing these works in their current format, on stretched canvas, these images as objects refer to the context of the historical tradition of painting. The overlap and juxtaposition of torn paper pieces stuck to a canvas surface is not unlike pieces of paint. These pieces constitute the final picture and are read either as flat, coloured, textured and/or, pictorial shapes. The tactile nature of this process and the application of paper piece by piece is in contrast with the fluid nature of painting and emphasises the material existence of the work, similar to tribal and ceremonial objects. In many cultures the surface of objects is covered with natural and perishable materials derived from the immediate environment. Materials, including shells, feathers, bone, sand, mud, pigments and so on, provide the wearer, user or viewer with a sense of direct contact with the natural world.

Inadvertently the discussion and observation of any activity opens up a discovery of a number of processes.

Brian Spiteri
August 2008

Brian Spiteri 2006 Exhibition
Brian Spiteri 2010 Exhibition
Brian Spiteri 2012 Exhibition