"I like a mess. . . I like to make a mess, then make something out of it. . . work something out of it when the mess is your own and you make something out of it you end up with something totally of you."
Every now and then one of the boards has a shape scratched into its surface to guide me. It's like a gentle nod, a quiet "like this my love" from the other side.
These are the first magnetic pieces used to propose the reimagined work to Bathurst Regional Art Gallery in 2014.
Steve Kirby: Extract from funding application to Visual Arts Board in 2006.
At present it is intended that the work will run continuously around the walls of a room known as the Ceramic Gallery. How such a work (approximately 1.6m x 22.5m) may be read by the viewer, when it offers no apparent narrative or even internal design structure is a question analogous to that raised by sequential artists at present exploring, in a digital environment, the relation between spatial freedom and finite human perceptions. To enable me to fully explore this question I have reconstructed the Ceramic Gallery (7m x 5m) inside my own studio. Like the Seleni of Alcibiades this shining interior a room within a room will be contained in the plainest of exteriors – an old mill. Visitors will be welcome to visit this space as the work develops. This extended work will follow the rule underlying the works shown. Only elements discovered within and cut from my own paintings may be included. This rule promotes diverse acts of painting and demotes the commodity value of the resulting works. Often these acts of painting employ domestic appliances and power tools to create seductive optical effects, but these are never regarded as ends in themselves, but as parts of a greater whole which invites viewers to consider the multiplicity of the phenomenal world and our own multidimensional transhistorical human nature.
In 2006 Steve Kirby proposed a 22.5 metre mosaic painting. The work was unresolved when he died in 2010. In 2016 the work will be reimagined for the first time. Resolved but forever unfinished, this large scale painting now invites you to participate in its ongoing creation. Following the same rules as Kirby's earlier mosaic paintings, the work is made only from elements discovered and cut from his own paintings. Each piece has been carefully hand finished, and can be moved independently, allowing for those visiting the work to explore first hand the concepts behind Steve's painting practice. As taken from Steve's original proposal, these pieces "are never regarded as ends in themselves, but as parts of a greater whole which invites viewers to consider the multiplicity of the phenomenal world and our own multidimensional transhistorical human nature."