:: Silent Painting ::

For the past eight years, I have been developing a painted aesthetic unique to my practice, called the Dual Image Medium, where one painted image is seen by daylight, and another different image is seen under ultraviolet illumination. Examples of this technique can be seen in a selection of my artworks since 2010: see in particular Day, Night & Hidden Light for early works in the Dual Image Medium, The Fernal World for more recent images, as well as individual works such as Minimally Counter-Intuitive Agent Hyper-Detection and Beyond Demons And Angels. My ongoing Voice Project also uses this technique.

And What Will I See

'And What Will I See?'
Acrylics & UV Lacquer on Canvas
Silent Painting :: 25cm x 35cm :: 2018

The 'hidden' image in this Dual Image Medium is rendered in UV lacquer medium which is transparent under daylight conditions but fluoresces in the presence of UV light. I have been developing this technique for nearly ten years and one thing I am interested to explore are the boundaries of what this Dual Image Medium can do. One result of this experimental approach was the small-scale series Liminal Contact, which illustrated my book on painting of the same name.

Recently I have been creating a handful of small artworks exploring a curious adaptation: removing the daylight image but keeping the hidden UV image which is unseen by daylight. In other words, by daylight, one sees a blank canvas or extremely faded image, and it is only under UV illumination that the painted image suddenly and strikingly comes into view.

Into The Light

'Into The Light'
Acrylics & UV Lacquer on Canvas
Silent Painting :: 18cm x 24cm :: 2019

As yet, I have not exhibited any of these 'silent paintings' in public, but a number of fascinating curatorial ideas do spring to mind with them. One could exhibit a whole room of apparently blank canvases, but secretly rig up an array of UV lights leaving a large electric light switch visible in the centre of the exhibition, for the audience to figure out how to make the hidden images visible. Another possibility would be to keep the gallery well-lit, but give the audience UV torches to explore in a more intimate and somewhat archaeological way, to discover the hidden images for themselves.

To date, four small-scale 'silent paintings' have been created, with varying degrees of success. My ultimate aim is to make the UV image completely invisible by daylight, but at present, faint shadows and traces are still visible. Should the success of a completely invisible 'silent painting' be achieved, this technique will be used to produce a future series and proposed exhibition.

I Hear Her Whispering Again

'I Hear Her Whispering Again'
Acrylics & UV Lacquer on Canvas
Silent Painting :: 18cm x 24cm :: 2019

 

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