There is the collective consciousness and our individual consciousness. They are forever mingled. We, as individuals, already have to grapple with our own existences. Looking through the fibres of the tapestry which is our life, this already becomes a daunting task. So many elements are woven together for which, even though they are our own experiences, we are ever looking for justification that these are in fact true memories and feelings, or are they fabricated to soften the jagged edges of our pain? Pain is why I paint. I believe that the importance of Art, in each of its disciplines, is the expression of the soul and its higher consciousness. My outpouring of different images have one objective. To communicate my feelings, which vibrate through the enigma that we are handed which we call our life. We are stories put together from remnants, layers of our existence, like an archaeological dig, piecing together artefacts, trying to make some sense of how we got to where we are from lost knowledge of the past.
In stripping away the layers within myself, I eventually realized that the negative (shadow) was necessary to be able to appreciate the light! I believe in paint, the pure substance into which I dip my brush, and feel the vibration of its materiality to create feelings at a more ethereal level. The expression of the human spirit. This is influenced by our surroundings, upbringing, culture, and the social structures in which we live. Many of the boundaries which existed have fallen, allowing for much more freedom and much more confusion. Our concerns are now global. What resonates with me are the vibrations of our being as expressed through the arts. Even though there may be a narrative, it is the composition whether music, dance, theatre and painting and their vibration through the orchestration, the beat, the staging, the lighting that carries my spirit and communicates with my soul. This is what I seek through the paint I use. It is the cooking oil in which I blend the ingredients. These ingredients are the losses and joys that I have had. Stripping away the pain to gain strength and pleasure. Passion, desire and a connection to the thread that runs through the history of art, through the Universe. Limited by my own existence and understanding of my surroundings, I try to bring movement that goes beyond the judgement of race, creed or genetic information. I lay myself bare as I paint.
There are no coincidences! I live in both South Africa and Portugal, two countries at once very different and complementary to each other. One was proclaimed the Rainbow Nation, (sadly now a distant memory), the other is the Rainbow Nation, having for centuries lived with all the races being just the Human race. So when I paint the series “Transformation”, stemming from the ideas that are (seemingly) politically motivated in South Africa, my narrative goes beyond colour, as the transformation is on a much greater level of human transformation. This doesn’t extend back a few hundred centuries, but millennia. The human presence is represented by skulls, which all look the same regardless of the colour of the skin that once covered it!
I get my direction from dance, music, travels, my psyche! I start with the idea, using a camera to gather ambient light, also with primary drawings , which I then expand on a computer. It is put on canvas with ink jet. This is the armature for the oil paint, dry pigments and wax which will then bring the surface to life.
Andrew Hart Adler