SUBSTANCE

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With our sight being our most important sense organ Gavin Risi perceives creating a visual language in a space of illusion to enhance our consciousness. His visual subject matter stems predominately from within his own being. A meditational dialogue that creates changing form and space in his oil paintings.

Since he was a young child his suspicion was that he had to keep the integrity of this dialogue separate, intact and away from certain conventional art teachings. Seeing that his passion and energy came from somewhere else and not the satisfaction of being able to copy reality or search for an aesthetic. Intuitively perceiving that his best teacher was to study the works of other artists.

He has no real answer as to why the path of his expression is as it is, then throws out a whole host of dead artists' names attempting to recall past experiences and reasons. Which later made it perfectly clear for me. 

His earliest memory of visual creativity reveals the power of our childhood experiences to form a lifelong passion in what can be interpreted as a singular concept. He remembers his mother and himself lying flat on the grass looking up at the passing clouds and discovering a whole host of animals and creatures in their changing form. This is known as pareidolia where our perception struggles to interpret a nebulous stimulus. Gavin works with this tendency as part of his evolving “substance” construct/formulation. 

His Spanish childhood friend's family and their love for the works of Salvador Dali, with prints of his art throughout their home obviously gave him some insight. He vividly remembers ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus' that pointed to the freedom of form to behave as a number of realities.

A further insight happened when he first saw an Edvard Munch painting in London and was shocked when he  suddenly met the artist and not the painting of a house. Interpreting this magic of transcendence through material as a place where truth and skill meet.               

This ability for artists to imbue a material substance with a powerful, unexplainable communication made him feel that it is possible to use the visual language as stepping stones along a spiritual path. 

In his twenties he used this concept, evolving it into a work where eight recognizable forms held in a single form.

Recently he created a work that hung in his lounge for eight months where the substance held what seemed to be an endless place of changing forms.

​Consciousness is not computational, it doesn't follow any rules​. When you visually step into a reality that is made from the unknowable your mind is sent to a place it would not normally go and for a moment you transcend your everyday awareness, you feel you have captured the elusive. 

Even when seated close to the painting as your eyes move over the surface visual worlds appear creating spaces within you. 

An intention of surrealism was finding a bridge to connect the subconscious with reality. Gavin's work conjures up realities, allowing the surreal nature of the vision only to exist in the viewer's mind even when an attempt is made to explain and show it to another.

When you first see the work it is chaotic and overwhelming as there seems to be no resting place but after about 30 minutes you begin to see the layers of  structures, volumes, spaces and forms.