(acrylic on canvas, 60cm x 60cm)
The grid has been hailed as the symbol of modernity. “ In the early part of this (20th) century there began to appear, first in France and then in Russia and Holland a structure that has remained emblematic of the modernist ambition in the visual arts ever since.” (Kraus 1979). Rosalind Kraus also goes on to say that the grid “is anti-natural, anti-mimetic, anti-real”. In this work the grid provides the arbitrary but ordered coordinates of location. The other lines delineating space on the canvas are real, placed with deliberation, the planned apportionment of space, the division of place.
What emerges then is a tension between two regularities, that of the grid, independent, imposed,, sitting on top of the ‘landscape’ beneath, and the field boundaries, for that is their source, occupying that subordinate subjugated level. Indeed that conflict can be deconstructed further for there are two categories of field boundary, the fan like radiating elongated fields of the crofting settlement, and the large roughly rectangular fields of a sheep farm that impinge on and in part overlie and in truth replace the crofter’s fields. The colours are derived from and are emblematic of the real landscape, but, without being representational. They are intended to endow the stark pattern of conflicting lines with the spirit of the land on which they are imprinted.
Nonetheless the work remains modernist and abstract in the sense that it is an abstraction from, it is a move away from a particular towards a universal notion.