“Opposites are not necessarily either/or but rather might be both/and. The opposite of a shallow truth is a falsehood—the opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth.” Neils Bohr, physicist
Stripes, blocks and spheres in these paintings are distilled from more articulated symbols used in earlier work. A desire to work with larger themes required a change in point of view. A field of operation emerged to accommodate a union of opposites: dark, light; slow, fast; desire, restraint; random events and focused effort. We look to understand these phenomenal relationships.
Contemporary western painting has two great visual languages, figuration and abstraction. The distillation of forms in abstraction allows me to work with large themes mentioned above, and figuration, including the performance of immediate gesture, allows for intimacy. A gap of a kind is created when I bring these two together, not integrated, but animated and willing to coexist. The space has a spark. and is characterized by potential. Here we can pause for understanding, pivot in a wink and change things.
Carina Evangelista, curator, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art wrote the following:
The precision that screenprinting demands can sometimes render images static but there is a surprising energy in these hand-pulled screenprints. The artist combines the distilled forms of abstraction that in the play of shapes and color animate the canvas with figuration that captures the intimate. Southerland likens the tension between slow build and the explosive gesture to the mysteries of the universe: the passing of time, coming into being, and the fading away of things and lives--how people “plowed ground, made quilts, repaired bad roads, made music, had fights, had babies, looked at the stars and buried the dead.” Remarking at the paradox of this amazing variety and vapid repetition, she finds the most interesting moments to be “the space in between” - that furtive glance that channels the power of divergent yet very real points of view such as “looking at the stars and down at your feet.”