About ‘The Tree’ project
I decided to create an artwork that depicted a magical world, where illusion and reality blurs and where powerful narratives could create intimate relationships with the viewer, lead the onlooker on to fill in the gaps and makes him/her create their own story.
During previous years I have worked on paintings where the fine line between what we consider reality and fantasy is questioned, so now I wanted to take it to a different scale and create an almost three by three metre panel painting that could transmit and entice the viewer into a surrealistic ambiguity through the narrative of the portrayed objects. Things like mechanical butterflies, chained birds, caged fish etc are not only the dwellers of this strange world but also the symbols of struggles we face in this existence. They represent the timeless struggle of ‘good’ and ‘evil‘.
We see events, objects and people in a very different way from each other, it most commonly depends on our own life experiences. Cultural, educational, religious points of view and other momentary life events can make a big impact on the way we react to visual stimuli in art works and what we choose to see. Some people view “The Tree” as a fairytale, bright and beautiful, others on the other hand focus on the pins and hooks, drops of blood and other darker parts of the story. For me my paintings resemble our life: bad doesn’t come without the good and vice versa, there is always a price for beauty and someone can be behind the scenes manipulating and pulling the strings. There are almost always more questions than answers as we have to figure things out for our selves. Do we focus on doom and gloom, do we only see the pleasant things and live in lalaland or can we navigate through, ask the right questions and learn lessons from what life throws at us?
There is no final understanding to ‘The Tree’, it is the creative process of the viewer engaging with the painting through narrative. The work creates a visual story, where the painted surface becomes a mental playground, allowing the observer to swing from image to image and complete their final story.