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  • John Reid

Visual Immediacy.

In June 2022 I started to incorporate the use of texta marker pens and acrylic pens in my work. The main reason for this was to readdress the flatness of many areas in some of my earlier works and to try and bring life and depth back into them….to reignite their ability to communicate.


The point of communication is to be as clear as possible and for our voice to be heard in a fueled tone…to be heard authentically. One's voice needs to have an energy behind it. Not necessarily an emotion but the energy of that emotion. It’s about focusing one’s energy into the language rather than the emotion. It's not so much the subject matter but rather the content and the delivery.


When you have a situation where someone is looking at a painting there is an airspace between the viewer and the artwork and this is a special space that can facilitate an intimacy and connection with the work.


The thing with airspace is that it delays language. It sets up a lag if you like. One strives to make important communication instant as the sensation of music appears instant.


When we are in the presence of another person or engaged with a object or experience we set up an airspace between us and the experience…a social distance. It’s a comfort zone to enable us to interact and respond to the situation. This, in most situations is something of our choosing and construction. This zone is alive and can be opened further or completely closed and thus affects the success of any communication.


The point of these texta works is to imbue their voice with a clarity and immediacy. This is hopefully achieved by dissolving the airspace through the visual immediacy of the texta. In this way the work feels part of the viewer as opposed to something kept as a distance to ponder. Its about integration…the language becomes part of you and you become part of the language.


There’s a sense of urgency in these. Not so much in terms of subject matter but in terms of their execution and their need to be heard. The voice to these works is not associated with a narrative but in their sense of immediacy…a brevity of sorts…an opening of space through clarity to create a sense of intimacy, of honesty.


The use of texta pen closes the airspace and gives the work an almost abrupt sense of foreground. If the work is a success there is also a depth because you are in the space created by the work and not at a distance looking for a way in.


The thing now is to incorporate this dynamic, seen with the texta pen, into the arena of pure painting.

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