The idea to interpret the Periodic Table through painting and drawing had been germinating for a long time. I first thought about the Periodic Table as subject matter when I read Primo Levi’s book “The Periodic Table” in which he writes metaphorically about events in his life as a chemist and the roles certain elements played at various stages. It got me thinking about the elements and how I might interpret them relative to my concerns as a painter. I also realized that this could be a fitting match for my concerns about the environment – the fact that all of these elements are finite resources – and also bring added purpose to the work.
The point of this project is to bring a keen realization and connection to the “Elements” which make up the physical world. All of the elements share a remarkable origin in that they are all the consequences of the birth and death of stars. Everything on Earth is made up of these elements, including us, and it is truly astounding to realize that we are, in fact, “ the stuff of stars”. Intrinsic to this, is the importance and significance of the elements to our lives and that it is incumbent upon us to consider these resources carefully and utilize them responsibly.
My work has always been inspired, to one degree or another, by my interest and attention to the Sciences. First, through biology and its fundamental relation to the worlds of the microcosm and the macrocosm. This lead to an examination of the architectonic structures of nature that underlay the basis for the engineering feats of man made forms and buildings. This new body of work gets to the essence of life and ecosystems by focusing on the natural “elements” themselves which make everything in the natural and synthetic worlds possible.
Congruent with this are my own principle interests with surface and materiality. Each work is an experiment with materials and texture – mixing a variety of gels and other additives to the paints in order to achieve the desired effect. This is the driving force for me with relation to this project. Each element presents a new set of characteristics that need to be studied and assessed. This pushes me to experiment with textures and material effects that speak directly to the physical properties of each element, as well as, direct the color and compositional aspects of the work.