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The seeing of not seeing from Alison Jardine

Dan McCarthy, and media executive and writer who writes the drmstream website, recently wrote this beautiful poetic response to my work. I was particularly moved to see his very succinct summary of my work (probably worded better than I could write it myself 🙂

For the past year or so I’ve been fol­low­ing the work of the artist Ali­son Jar­dine on Twit­ter.  It has been an excit­ing and sur­pris­ing experience.

Dur­ing that time, Ali­son has been inte­grat­ing a nat­u­ral­is­tic vision of the world with an emerg­ing under­stand­ing and mas­tery of the impact of dig­i­ti­za­tion on images and per­cep­tion.  The leit­mo­tif she’s seized on is the pixel — the root ele­ment for all dig­i­tal images.  Rather than com­pro­mise the entire image by manip­u­lat­ing the under­ly­ing pix­eliza­tion, Ali­son has cre­ated a series of works that raise one or a clus­ter of pix­els to visual promi­nence.  The effect is arrest­ing and con­sis­tently natural.

The exer­cise would be no more than that, an inter­est­ing exer­cise in techno-modern style, if the under­ly­ing foun­da­tion of the work were not so strong.  The works play with jux­ta­po­si­tion with­out being overly pre­cious, cute or mean­ing­ful.  There is beauty in cap­tur­ing the blur that pre­cedes per­cep­tion, and Jardine’s recent work is squarely placed in that excit­ing moment of discovery.

 

Read the full article, and visit his website for more of his writings.

The seeing of not seeing from Alison Jardine

by DRM

Crit­i­cal Mass by Ali­son Jardine

 

What I see clearly I pass by.

What I see but do not see, I stand to witness.

My heart goes wan­der­ing, pulls my soul from its slum­ber, pesters mem­o­ries to give up their hard, wary shell and stretch out in child­like glee.

All while I stand cap­tive to what I see but do not see.

Then it appears.

Broad­way unfolds in a stream of ink diluted with tears. Night sheds its scaly skin and slinks down to the end of the island.  Win­dows turn flat and blank. Rooflines lift up like sun­flow­ers in a rain­storm. The air is mealy.  I see things that I don’t think any­one else can see. I see a woman hold­ing a spoon above a bowl of sugar, curs­ing an old man. I see a boy crouched in the dark cor­ri­dor, wait­ing for light to break through the kitchen win­dow. I see two men lay­ing still in bed.. I see me, me some­where and every­where, hold­ing some­one, lis­ten­ing to whis­pers, rush­ing into the room, bang­ing on black glass.

This is not a mem­ory. It is then. It is now. I have slipped into a fold in time; the blur — greens, yel­lows, blues, whites — open­ing in soft focus and enfold­ing the grey angles of another place, of no time.

How can I tell you what a mag­i­cal moment this is? Have you felt it?

If you do, you know. You know how in the instant that I rec­og­nize what I am see­ing, it van­ishes.  The blur is a stand of trees. The tiny cityscape is a shadow cast by a stray cloud.

I feel empty.  Don’t you?

Then one day I encounter this paint­ing by Alison Jardine and catch my breath.

She has the gift of see­ing what is there but not there.

For one moment, she lets me lose myself in the see­ing of not seeing.

It is a moment to be thank­ful for.

*

For the past year or so I’ve been fol­low­ing the work of the artist Ali­son Jar­dine on Twit­ter.  It has been an excit­ing and sur­pris­ing experience.

Dur­ing that time, Ali­son has been inte­grat­ing a nat­u­ral­is­tic vision of the world with an emerg­ing under­stand­ing and mas­tery of the impact of dig­i­ti­za­tion on images and per­cep­tion.  The leit­mo­tif she’s seized on is the pixel — the root ele­ment for all dig­i­tal images.  Rather than com­pro­mise the entire image by manip­u­lat­ing the under­ly­ing pix­eliza­tion, Ali­son has cre­ated a series of works that raise one or a clus­ter of pix­els to visual promi­nence.  The effect is arrest­ing and con­sis­tently natural.

The exer­cise would be no more than that, an inter­est­ing exer­cise in techno-modern style, if the under­ly­ing foun­da­tion of the work were not so strong.  The works play with jux­ta­po­si­tion with­out being overly pre­cious, cute or mean­ing­ful.  There is beauty in cap­tur­ing the blur that pre­cedes per­cep­tion, and Jardine’s recent work is squarely placed in that excit­ing moment of discovery.

You can see her Pix­el­Na­tion series here on her web site.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Jonathan Brice Lyman August 20, 2011, 2:06 am

    Critical Mass reminds me of a coincidental idea for a painting I have that shows a lush area grove and a sunny day. However, just in the middle of the grove is a miniature metropolis, the kind you’d see from 1000 feet or on google maps. From there, it just looks like a stain on the earth.

    Even though nature is taking up most of the space in your composition, the square piece seems to dominate for attention. It brings me back to a new way of urban living, one that blends with and supports nature. Thanks for sharing.

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