“In a world which contains the present moment,” said Neville, “why discriminate?” Virginia Wolfe, The Waves

In Incident Horizon painting events; marks, incidents, occurrences accumulate on the picture plane. Begun with a cartographical drawing of the wave patterns observed and traced from the cliffs of Pouch Cove Newfoundland successive layers of paint and medium are then laid down  -some remain and some obscured by the next marks.

Incident Horizon is a combination of ideas: the “event horizon” in black holes beyond which no light escapes and the much used “critical mass” whereby a nuclear chain reaction occurs when the mass of the substance reaches a certain point.  A question is asked: at what point does the slow accumulation of marks and paint events on the picture plan resolve into a painting? An immediate resolution is not intended.

Another idea influencing this work is that of “blindsight, the native ability to sense things using the brain’s primitive subcortical – and entirely subconscious – visual system.” [1] I have been fascinated with ideas of unconscious seeing ever since reading an article in the Globe and Mail describing how a blind man whose visual lobes were destroyed by a stroke, but whose eyes were healthy, was able to navigate an obstacle course. He was not aware of “seeing” anything.

This feels intuitive but being trained as a scientist my skeptical self can’t help but be thrilled and delighted by the experimental confirmation. In this work I attempt to engage conscious and unconscious seeing in both its execution and apprehension.

This exhibition is the beginning of this line of exploration and continues a previous fascination with our connection with nature and desire to be part of it.

Pearl Van Geest

[1] Benedict Carey, Globe and Mail, Tuesday Dec. 23, 2008