Robert McPartland

Elements: air water

Robert McPartland paints in the still life tradition and plays with everyday, insignificant objects, which are often balanced between calm and tension, to create compositions with interchanging form and space that simultaneously possess clarity and mystery.

He sees objects as elemental phenomena or events and their identities as indeterminate until they react with other events or conditions, i.e. other objects, space and light.  

The process is deeply rational and it is through this organic engagement and passing of time that any poetry , meaning or significance may become embodied or revealed.  

Though Robert has developed several series over the years, his relationship with his subject matter is intuitive and rarely programmatic or conceptualised; every element in the picture is a variable in a field of possibilities that change depending on his interaction with them.

He sees his paintings not as merely a material object or an illusionistic window, but in a sense, as a living thing that metaphorises meaning and conveys human qualities directly, through our right hemisphere (paraphrase of Ian McGilchrist, Master and his Emissary pg. 96)

After years of adherence to abstraction and modernism Robert looks to the work of the past, not nostalgically, but because in some of it he sees startling confirmations of our new understanding of matter and the universe without and within.  In his small way, he tries to fold this into the humanity of painting.

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