Robert McPartland


Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020
85 x 75 cm

“I paint in the still life tradition, playing with everyday, insignificant objects balanced between calm and tension, to create compositions with interchanging form and space that simultaneously possess clarity and mystery. I see objects as elemental phenomena or events and their identities as indeterminate until they react with other events or conditions, i.e. other objects, space and light. The process is deeply relational and through this organic engagement and the passing of time, poetry, meaning or significance become embodied and revealed.

My relationship with my subject matter is intuitive and rarely programmatic or conceptualised; every element in the picture is a variable in fields of possibilities that change depending on my interaction with them. I see my painting not as merely a material object or an illusionistic window, but in a sense as a living thing that metaphorises meaning and conveys human qualities directly, through our right hemisphere. I often look to the work of the past, because in some of it I see startling confirmations of our new understanding of matter and the universe without and within. In my small way, I try to fold this into the humanity of painting.”