This work is made by a meandering line of paint * in an attempt to create a sensation generated by instinct - as opposed to an art object pregnant with intellectual learning. I have simply hammered a nail hole into a tin that is then suspended, at arm length, from a string cradle, and I have walked until the paint ran out. The tin sways at random and records the place in time and space that created an experience generated in my mind without skill or predetermined thought. The chance movements of the tin and the unpredictable duration of the act trigger uncertainty, and this sensation opens the mind to an old way of sensing through instinct. It is this sensation that I believe is hidden behind our intelligent way of comprehending the world.

Up until modern times this hidden sensation has always been suppressed in art because it cannot be given structure through intellectual intelligently made objects. Art history has always looked upon artists’ work as the result of a need to give form to cultural values through intelligent working practices, but modern understanding implies the art experience is a far deep sensation provoked by recall of an older animal way of perception. To get to this sensation requires an artist to abandon cultural values because the depth of the art experience is only known in our minds when our powers of intelligence fail to formulate a learned idea about what we see. Modern art arose to repeal traditional art practices so that works could be created that provoke, rather than suppress, a primal sensation from the depth of our minds. This is what I am trying to achieve here in this meandering trail of paint. I want to sense by intuition not by learned understanding, and to do this I need to avoid creating an art object that displays traditional cultural values. Walking aimlessly with a dripping tin of paint is not the ideal solution, but it does, at least, remove most of the old ideas of art that stand in the way of intuitive insight.

People think this kind of work inartistic because anyone could do it, but the view that you are trying to discover requires a different state of mind to the traditional idea of art. You are trying to look at the world without intelligent learning, and this requires finding, or creating, an object that circumvents all established beliefs about what you see. This state of mind without learning opens your powers of perception to an old hereditary animal way of sensing generated by genetic information that intelligent has evolved to suppress in our view of the world. We live, therefore, with two ways of perception but our present state of mind, generated by intelligent learning, works to overpower an older view generated by instinct. As a modern artist it is this old suppressed view I try to rediscover through my work

The oft-asked question

Why do I think artists should discover a redundant way of perception? I can only say that I believe it would rekindle our awareness for our true affinity with the natural world. I believe we have suppressed this affinity, and whilst this has allowed us to become the most successful creatures on Earth, we have attained this position by destroying our connection to nature. We have retreated into an environment made of plastic, steel and silicon, and this creates, in some of us, the realisation that our minds are working to accelerate us away from a true understanding of our origins.

* I have used water-soluable none-toxic paint that is harmless to the environment.

Trace Element 2013