Whiteout

This series of large-scale paintings features various shades of matte white paint covering and obscuring surfaces produced by other artists. The painted-over former artworks often featured with colours, gestures, and forms far removed from my own aesthetic choices. As the same time, the physical objects carried weight – physical, emotional, durational evidence of the passage of time – and this series is about confronting those choices and that weight, interacting with them, and transforming them into something new.

To make these works, I asked other painters to donate old and unwanted works of art on canvas and linen. I removed the paintings from their stretchers and proceed to sand them down, both manually and with power tools. This transformed uniform surfaces into uneven layers of residue, revealing how the previous images were built up over time and erasing much of their previous owners’ work.

I then painted over the flattened, excavated surfaces with highly diluted white paint, that was then gently sanded, once dry. The airy clouds that emerge both obscure the underlying surfaces and invite us to look for evidence of what came before.

Whiteout no. 1, 167 x 204 cm (unstretched), mixed media on linen, 2021.
Whiteout no. 1, 167 x 204 cm (unstretched), mixed media on linen, 2021.
Whiteout no. 2, 208 x 211 cm (unstretched), mixed media on linen, 2021.
Whiteout no. 2, 208 x 211 cm (unstretched), mixed media on linen, 2021.