The following quotes are collated from a series of interviews with contemporary artists whom I invite to each reflect on their personal history, meaning, and philosophy, and how those are embedded throughout their creative process.
In these interview extracts, artists answer the question. “which work of yours stands out to you in this moment as being particularly meaningful?”
Nil & Karin Romano
“We have a special soft spot for one in particular called “Room Full Of Grief” (The Funeral). We did this piece of work when we were in the process of losing someone we really love , who was such a unique person. Our aunt was a true rebel in her heart, so we found it easy to connect with her on a deeper level. She got ill and we prepared ourselves for the last goodbye when making a painting about loss. It helped us cope with the situation in the most personal way.
The other drawing that we got attached to recently is called: ” I Want To Pull The Sadness Out Of You”. The drawing shows two gay muscular figures, one crying and the other enveloping him with love and support and pull him upwards in order to lift him from his pain. We made two versions of this piece, one as a black and white drawing and the other as a painting with bold colours on a big size canvas. It’s hard for us to even tell which of the two we love more because they touch us both, they are the same but yet so different from one another.”
“It’s titled ‘1994’, a very old work of mine I did at 18. It’s around 100 x 127 in. It was an influential time in my life, I felt it needed channelling. I knew if I could match, if not outdo certain paintings I saw from the great abstract expressionists at such a young age, I could potentially reach that level as life progresses. Naivety in your formative years is quite an inspiring thing, there’s a youthful innocence/energy to it. I titled that piece after the year I was born, it strangely encapsulates my past, present, and future artistry.”
“I think ‘Figures at Ebb Tide’ is a painting that I find meaningful on many levels. It is an almost infinitely complex painting technically with layers of meaning that, in my opinion, work perfectly together, or at least exactly how I wanted them to. To have so much in a painting and for it still to be easily digestible or comprehensible on an instinctual level is probably my greatest achievement in painting.
Part of the theme of that painting is the passage of time and change within that time, so it’s particularly meaningful to me because the figure in the foreground is my mother who died fairly recently. It’s a nice reminder that change and renewal is the essence of life.”
““Remnant 1” is probably the most meaningful to me. It depicts a singular broken pint glass sitting atop a lacquered, worn wooden table with a dark green horizon. The thinking was of what we’ve lost during this past year and what we’ll have afterwards. It’s a little hopeful though, the horizon, a historical symbol of there being something more, something after, acts as a reminder that we will continue to move on. We’ll mourn the time and ones lost but, ultimately, we’ll all continue onwards. Wherever that may be.”
“I would say my piece of work “Herald”. It wasn’t the first piece in this newer style developed in early 2020, but once I had made it, I had a realisation that I could make work in a more unique way that felt personal to me.”