Painting Practice #1

My focus for this is Rift – geological, political, metaphorical. The work is a development of the digital/physical hybrids I made in earlier exercises and projects, and also as part of my personal painting that had no connection to that until this idea began to form.

The first is almost entirely dependent on digital ‘post production’ in that an original painting in acrylics passed through Paintshop Pro, Rebelle 5 Pro, Flamepainter, and PhotoMirage to become the first Rift.

The second is, in very many ways, more rooted in the physical and also represents an extension of my video making skills. This time, there is only minor animation (again by PhotoMirage), but the overlay of a Black Lives Matter protest, layered over the painting in reduced opacity, adds a political clout to the otherwise introspective image.


I am thinking now of three physical/digital hybrids for this component of the module: the Partition of India in 1947 which was one of those horrendous political decisions that took no account of people’s social structures; Cardiff, prompted by the 6Music Festival coming just now from Cardiff and a reminder by a listener that a Dr Who episode featuring a rift* was set there; and the San Andreas Fault which threatens to drop a large portion of the coast of California into the sea with cataclysmic consequences. The second came about almost simultaneously and involves the San Andreas fault, The Eleventh Hour** (another Who episode) and a short story I wrote for a friend’s ten year old Dr Who fanatic son. So the third, a travesty of political decision-making, Partition, that took place in India in 1947, seemed out of kilter. I had been thinking about it for a few days because of its weight of history, scope for portraiture with geopolitical overlays, and colours reflecting the culture. It was only later I realised that yet another Dr Who episode***, hugely affecting and much applauded, was set in that location and era.

Note: YouTube recently began converting some videos to Shorts, the links to which can’t at present be embedded in WordPress. Discussion in various forums suggests this happens primarily to videos in portrait aspect and/or with a runtime of less than a minute, but this isn’t a consistent experience. Critically, there seems to be no choice at present, YouTube’s algorithms make a unilateral decision, so a temporary workaround for me is Vimeo.

*The Cardiff Rift featured in a number of episodes of Dr Who and also Torchwood circa 2008/9

**This episode features the classic Who quote: “… It’s a crack. And I’ll tell you something funny. If you knock this wall down the crack would stay put ’cause the crack isn’t in the wall.”

***Demons of the Punjab aired 11/11/2018

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