Damien Flood


Damien Flood. Shortlisted 2018

Medium: Painting in oils

Website: http://www.damienflood.ie

Crimson Garden Display Model Permeate Pointer Slipaway Fourth Wall


Over the last two years it's been a balancing act between working to earn money and finding adequate studio time for my art practice. With four solo shows in a row in Belgium, LA , Dun Laoghaire and Dublin I've had to narrow down my researching and leave some areas unexplored. In 2018 I want to take time out from exhibiting and working to explore a new direction within my practice.

Recent works like 'Crimson Garden' and 'Display Model' combine my interest in abstract painting and traditional renaissance techniques. Using many different processes this new work is more labour intensive and slower to make. Scale is an important area I want to explore with this new direction. Achieving larger scale will be trial and error due to the process ratios, viscosities and drying times all vary with size. This will also mean changing painting support from canvas to panel to give the rigidity the work will need.

Within this new direction representational elements have arrived like plants and vases. Over the next year I intend to further explore the narrative potential between the linear abstract elements and rendered objects and experiment with how they push and pull the painted plane. I believe the introduction of recognisable objects also helps open up the work to a wider audience, giving viewers a key into the work.

The Golden Fleece Award would grant me the support and freedom from financial and exhibition pressures. It would allow me time to try out new ideas and experiment with working methods and painting supports. By mid 2019 I aim to have an ambitious new body of work for exhibition.

Artist Statement

My work is grounded in early writings on philosophy, theology, alchemy and the natural sciences. I use these as starting points to explore the mutability of 'reality' and language. The paintings I create balance between landscape and figuration. They are psychological portraits and maps to different worlds. I'm interested in creating a duality in imagery, exploring how one image can contain multiple meanings and readings. These new geographies give the viewer a meditative space to see and experience the world differently, questioning the everyday.

Using a gestural, intuitive line I create images that relay my experience of places I visit and people I meet. The influences in my paintings are wide ranging from aural histories of small coastal towns to research trips to deserts in Dubai and Sharjah. During these periods of research I leave myself open to the experiences that present themselves, allowing one meeting to lead to another.

More recently a personal area of belief, memory and the subconscious has permeated my work, exploring the impact of a loss within my family. This has brought tangible objects like vases and plants into my painting, combining my interest in renaissance art with my love of abstract painting. These new objects allude to daily routine and ritual, off setting and grounding surreal elements while adding new depth. Brining together these two artistic approaches creates a lush surreal landscape, one that changes through the life experiences each viewer brings to them.

In these new works frames have been brought inside the canvas, dissecting the composition. Vases and plants are rendered with dabs and dashes of multicoloured paint. Ghostly figures float through the picture plane, hovering between internal and external spaces. With the addition of representational elements the works invite deeper readings and begin to blur the line between representational and abstract.