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Statements |  Still

Like poetry, meaning in painting occurs somewhere between what is invented and what is invited. This is the point where the mind can be still.

These paintings were created through contemplation and play. These paintings are evocative places I have experienced in the past. They inhabit my dreams. They infiltrate my imagination.

In nature, monumental landscapes are capable of healing — of balancing our minds. This body of work honours the pleasure of seeing and the sacredness of place.

My understanding of space has been greatly influenced by the serene prairie landscape — my primary visual experience as a child growing up in rural Saskatchewan.

The content of these paintings is not meant specifically as landscape. They are not representations or descriptions of specific places. They are reminiscent of experiences of place. The imagery is born of a number of influences and cumulative explorations . The prairie landscape — the way the big sky touches the endless flats — has become for me a metaphor for the interplay between our inner being and the physical, outer world. These paintings suggest place rather than particular sites or locations.

Nature is referenced in its changeless moods and shifts, its movement and stillness- the calm and the restless. There is movement of water, flux of weather and a complex layering of air, atmosphere and light.

There are positive and negative voids. There are moments of translucency and solid texturing. Perspective is found above and below. Layers of colour are hidden, and then made visible.

I struggle to arrive at a sense of place that is evoked through relationships rather than descriptions.

For me, painting is a process that is both formal and intuitive. The perspective or viewpoint in the paintings is often from above. The eye is in a state of endless flight, moving forever through the space. Sometimes the eye focuses on a magnetic center or at the interval between two worlds. The dividing line — which many consider to be the horizon line — occurs in all the works. It serves to simultaneously unite and divide the composition. Tension and energy are held along the dividing line, giving the painting both vitality and stillness.
It has been said that, ‘the more deeply a thing is engaged in the immeasurable, the more deeply lasting is its value’. This group of paintings are representations of the immeasurable.

I began painting when I was — years old. Over that time, my work has been primarily influenced by the work of — J.M.W. Turner, Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Antoni Tapies , and Otto Rogers. I have learned about paint, color, light and composition from these artists. What draws me to these great artists is their dedication to evocative metaphors, rather than literal descriptions. They invite rather than prescribe. The concrete and the ambiguous are allowed to occur simultaneously in time and space. That moment when intuition intersects with a lifetime of knowledge — this is what fuels my painting.

Sasha Rogers
September 2003

 

 

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