Although my work is mainly figurative, I have also used the landscape as a metaphor for some of the themes I am interested in. I have been continually exploring themes of home, displacement, belonging, power, childhood, identity and dialogue in relationships.

These themes are often related to each other in my work. What connects them is the elusive and intangible nature of how they are sometimes experienced (sensed rather than understood). Furthermore, I am interested in the concept of change within these sensations.  For example, innocence to knowledge, sleep to awakening, pre-linguistic to speech, entrances and passages within journeys. I also frequently make use of old photographs, partly to allude to memory, history and transition.

My intention is to form and suspend these subtle and essentially irretrievable and imperceptible moments into my paintings.  This has influenced the way I paint as well as the types and application of medium I use. I try and find ways to create unpredictable marks, sometimes through the process of drawing with paint.  This is done to avoid overt visual references to the painting process and to attempt to create a kind of realism that doesn’t rely only on representation but more on suggestion. I also utilize certain paint mediums that are difficult to apply for the same reason, creating images that vacillate between painterly and realism.

Charisse Gardiner