About Catherine Cassidy
"I’m looking for something unknown yet familiar: resonators and signifiers of landscape. I like taking one particular form and investing it with qualities that may seem to belong to something else.
For instance, trees that resemble clouds or organic forms that could be plants, or yet again something heraldic, as though they are imbued with some changeling quality. I like bringing them into being and charging them with the possibility that they could lead ambiguous lives. I dance all the time between these states of wholeness and fracture, reassembling and invention. I may start with the intention of the image of a tree but along the way the painting could suggest that it becomes a sky or some piece of dried-up river pond I saw ages ago. All things feel related to me. Sometimes in character, always in their inner life. A tree has an inner life peculiar to it, so does acycad. Yet there is another presence within living and inanimate things which they all share. This is at the heart of the Japanese concept of ‘mono no aware’, ...translated as, ‘the pathos of things’, an empathy towards things, a sensitivity to ephemera. Bill Henson in his essay ‘Credo’ (The Monthly 2009), asks, ‘How can there be so much compassion and so much detachment in great art?....’ where the rocks and flowers of the world, though they are beyond the tide of emotion, nonetheless have being.’ Running alongside this is a general feeling of contrariness. I’m not sure as artists that we have necessarily been served very well by the logic of sight that has guided the western art response since the Greeks invented it. The invention of perspective - foreground, middle ground, background, the elevation of plein-air observation and description, the emphasis on drawing skills and learnt technique. These things are quantifiable and can therefore be taught and I think they have over-ridden our inherent, intuitive, connective, natural response to image-making.
To me, all these things corrupt and distort what painting really asked us for all along - to respect its own logic. The inherent logic in the developing work is nothing to do with us, it comes from the work itself as it is being made. George Baselitz stated recently, ‘The artist must deny everything, that’s their job.’"
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