Oil on canvas 40 x 40 cm
Submitted for the Linconshire Wildlife Trust fundraising exhibition, Lincspirational Plants.
Paint a dot. Paint another dot. Choose the colour and position of each dot in realation to the previous dot but try to avoid thinking about larger patterns or the overall structure. Any patterns are then, to a large extent, an emergent property of the work itself rather than a design imposed by the artist.
As with Dots 1 and 2, and large scale patterns seen in Emergence 4 are an emergent property of the unplanned distribution of coloured polygons rather than a premeditated design feature.
These 1369 squares were each painted a different colour. They were individually identified by a pair of coordinate numbers, a colour was mixed and then the square to be painted was selected by looking up a table of random numbers. Thus I had no influence over the position of any colour.
From the beginning of time, artists have deliberately chosen where to place their chosen colours. Jackson Pollock may have allowed a bit of random splattering but even his paintings are carefully controlled by a creative mind.
We are creatures whose brains constantly seek patterns. Even when looking at a random distribution of coloured squares one is almost certain to notice particular groupings or alignments of colours, but any such constructions are creations of the viewers mind, not that of the artist.
This raises the question is it art at all? In what way would it be different had a machine been programmed to print such a random distribution of coloured squares?
And what of the colours themselves? They were created by mixing two, three or more oil paints squeezed from their tubes, each square requiring a new mix, ensuring a very low probability that any two squares are the same colour. That raises the whole question of how we perceive colour. Your brain, with its mere three types of receptors in your retina, detect light from your computer screen that generates just three different colours that it interpreted from the digital rendering of my camera of the light reflected by the painting. Each of the pigments in the oil paints reflect the whole spectrum of visible light but with different intensities at different wavelengths. Mixing the pigments causes interference, subtracting light of particular wavelengths, to produce the colours we perceive.
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