Damien Flood’s paintings stem from an interest in early writings on philosophy, theology, alchemy and the natural sciences. He uses these as starting points to explore the mutability of reality and language. The paintings he creates balance somewhere between landscape and figuration. They are psychological portraits and maps to different worlds. Flood is interested in creating a duality in his imagery, exploring how one image can contain multiple meanings and readings. Most recently Flood has begun making cermic works in the form of figures and vases. They expand on his interest in how we see and read the world, sometimes in a more direct and humourous way.
A primary concern in Flood’s paintings is how we see and read the world around us. Using a gestural and intuitive line, he creates images that relay his experience of the places he visits and the people he meets. The influences in Flood’s paintings are wide, ranging from collecting oral histories of small coastal towns to research trips to deserts in Dubai and Sharjah. During these periods of research he leaves himself open to the experiences that present themselves, allowing one meeting to lead to another.
The people and cultures Flood encounters are only tentatively documented through drawing and audio recordings. In the studio an almost archaeological process occurs, intuitively painting and allowing different themes and motifs to arrive naturally on the canvas. The titles of each work, usually a one word title, act as a guide for the viewer. They can be read as a key to his thinking behind the work, and the research that brought him there. The titles themselves can often have dual meanings, opening up the reading of the work even further.
Flood’s paintings create a re-imaging of the world by merging the stories, experiences and memories through the medium of paint. Puzzles, mysteries and questions are presented, through a mixing of different languages and view points, to create a place for meditative reflection. The images Flood produces mix the universal and the personal, the grand and the absurd. They try to communicate something that escapes written word; something that is experienced and felt.
In the words of the artist:
“Tilt juxtaposes the new ceramic work against a series of new paintings. The ceramics sit upon handmade brass, cement, and steel stands, evoking delicate and industrial aesthetics. The cracking white Grinners stare dead-eyed into the space presenting their 22-carat gold teeth in a humorous grin, celebrating, and embracing our inevitable ending. They evoke notions of long-lost Aztec artefacts and simultaneously limited-edition collectables from a local comic shop. Alongside these sit a series of Crying Men on their concrete plinths, bathed in flaking gold lamenting the futility of desire. They speak of our need to collect and own and its failing connection to being remembered.”