1979-1980 Paintings: Archaeology of Feeling

Between June 1979 and the early autumn of 1980 I worked on a series of paintings on paper entitled, Archaeology of Feeling. Twenty works were completed, the final one being the largest at 210 x 60 ins. I worked with acrylic, ink, coloured pencil, crayon and household emulsion. A large number of the works were included in an exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery (March-April 1980). The following notes were included in the exhibition catalogue.

Archaeology speaks of human beings and time. Here it is as if time was suspended in the work itself, giving weight to the texture of my feelings as if they were laid down in paint, crayon, word and paper.

Each work is the site for an excavation. Layers of inner experience are revealed, their quality and structure can be seen.

In a physical sense the painted works are composed of many layers of opaque and transparent pigment, generating a rich surface. The history of each work is documented by its appearance. Smudges, swirls of paint, dabs and streaks, scribbled lines – these are used to plot shifts and currents of feeling. A chart is made, which, like a map of ocean currents or atmospheric conditions, makes visible what is invisible.

Mexico 29th Nov 74 May-June 1979 Mixed-media Approx 72 x 84 insMexico 29th Nov 74 May-June 1979 Mixed-media 72 x 84 ins
Archaeology I MayJune 1979 Mixed media on paper Approx 84 x 48 insArchaeology I : Somewhere Along the Line MayJune 1979 Mixed media on paper 78 x 57 ins
Archaeology III JuneJuly 1979 Mixed media Approx 48 x 60 insArchaeology III : The Open Window June-July 1979 Mixed media 60 x 84 ins
Archaeology XIII c1979 Mixed media Approx 60 x 60 insArchaeology XIII c1979 Mixed media 66 x 84 ins
Archaeology of Feeling XVII Dec-Feb 1980 Mixed media Approx 72 x 228 insArchaeology of Feeling XVII : Panorama Spiritus Dec-Feb 1980 Mixed-media 60 x 120 ins
Archaeology XVIII Feb-March 1980 Mixed-media 96 x 90 insArchaeology XVIII Feb-March 1980 Mixed-media 96 x 90 ins
Archaeology of Feeling Southampton City Gallery MarApril 1980Archaeology of Feeling Exhibition Southampton City Gallery March-April 1980 detail of smaller of two gallery spaces
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