Cézanne’s Doubt

2020 Crawford College of Art & Design Degree Work:

Logical Investigations, Two-Way Diptych, Oil on Wooden Panel, 243 x 81/122 x 162.5cm

Cézanne’s Doubt, Oil on Wooden Panel, 122 x 122cm

Pink Crow, Oil on Wooden Panel, 122 x 122cm

Eye and Mind, Oil on Wooden Panel, 122 x 167.5cm

Back to the Things Themselves, Oil on Wooden Panel, 61 x 73.5cm

Free-Play, Oil on Wooden Panel, 61 x 61cm

Virtual Install Shots


The work is rooted in a phenomenological investigation into the experience of the individual in a man-made environment and their relation to the natural through this prism. Following reading  Merleau-Ponty’s essay, Cézanne’s Doubt, this work looks at how how we experience our surroundings.  Through direct engagement with the work, I hope to create a space for  philosophical engagement between a duality of the man-made and nature. 

This body of paintings is created on a primed plywood surface, allowing the grain of the wood to enhance and inform the composition. I have borrowed shapes from discarded cardboard packing to help build structures representing man-made buildings, and looked at architectural models and at the way in which they are an idealization of a lived environment.  I have turned ‘real’ buildings of the built environment into model-like structures, to highlight the fact that these buildings are man-made conceptions, thus encouraging the viewer to consider their meaning rather than bringing to mind a specific place. By painting these porous structures, I hope to give a greater sense of space and depth to highlight the mobility of the embodied individual in an environment and to restage this experience of viewing the paintings. I am using plant forms such as bindweed, nettles and thistles, which are pervasive in both urban and rural environments and I am using them to represent the natural in my work.

My interest in colour is due to its ability to be emotive and to help the work transcend its materiality. Kant spoke of the ability of the contemplation of the beautiful to allow ‘free-play’ in the mind through our intellectual faculties and faculties of sense perception.  I am looking at how using colour, line and form can direct the attention of the viewer at the work, in a way that allows for the ‘intentionality’ or directed attention necessary for phenomenological experience.

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