Paul Cotter

Taobh le mo Bhróidnéireacht Churtha

Paul Cotter
Taobh le mo Bhróidnéireacht Churtha

Taobh le mo Bhróidnéireacht Churtha

Tá stair suntasach taispeántais ag Ian Gordon, an t-ealaíontóir iomráiteach as Dún na nGall. D’fhreastail sé ar an Wimbledon School of Art go luath sna seachtóidí, uair gurbh é an dearcadh cultúrtha comhaimseartha gur rud neamhábhartha, fiú seanaimseartha, a bhí in ealaín na péintéireachta.

Bhí an Choláiste i bhfách le hoideachas acadúil a chur chun tosaigh ag am a raibh an ghlúin a bhí ag éirí aníos ag tiontú chuig ceol jazz, rac &rl., agus, ó thaobh na cruthaitheachta de, bhí níos mó spéise acu i bhforbairt sainmhínithe d’ealaín ‘coinceapúil’, d’ealaín ‘taibhiúcháin’ agus a leithéidí.  Bhí tionchar ag an eispéireas neas-suite seo ar a imeacht ón choláiste ealaíne, áit ar dúradh leis gur “féinoideoir ainrialta” a bhí ann.  Tríocha bliain ón am sin, creidim go dtugann sé sin léargas mícheart ar Ian agus ar a shaothar. D’fhéadfadh sé go raibh an lipéad ‘ainrialta’, ainm contráilte, ina chúis le Ian gan glacadh le péintéireacht mar a éirim go ceann tamaill mhaith. 

Is cinnte go mbíonn ealaíontóirí maithe ainrialta; ní chiallaíonn sé sin go díreach ach nach nglacann siad leis an riail fhoirmleacha atá leagtha síos. Tá sé de dhualgas ar an ealaíontóir fíor, mar fhísí, a mhiotaseolaíocht agus a mhodheolaíocht féin a chruthú.  Ina easpa sin, ní bheadh Impriseanachas, Eispriseanachas, Fauvachas, Coincheapachas nó ‘achas’ ar bith eile againn.

Déanfaidh an t-ealaíontóir na heilimintí bunúsacha a tháinig chun solais sna céimeanna tosaigh nó foirmitheach ina bhforbairt chruthaitheach a úsáid, a dhiúltiú, a athúsáid agus a athshocrú. Tagann forbairt ar an phróiseas seo mar a ‘gcleachtas’. Tá lorg na bhfréamhacha agus an chuma atá ag rithim agus gnás cruthaitheach Ian le tabhairt faoi deara go soiléir, rud a léiríonn tiomantas agus ionracas dáiríre. 

Nuair a dhiúltaigh Ian glacadh le hoideachas sa mhínealaín chlasaiceach, d’fhoglaim sé ceird na bróidnéireachta. Ag am amháin, b’fhéidir gur shíl Ian gurbh ionann péintéireacht agus rud gan úsáid, éadaingean nó fiú bagartha,  agus bhí ceird fiúntach fóinteach. Bheadh an eilimint seo ina toisc ríthábhachtach dá chleachtas lá níos faide anonn. Comhlíonann an obair bhróidnéireacht mórán cuspóirí. Is saothair rithimeacha iad, cruthaithe go machnamhach, ag múscailt imfhiosach óna chodladh. Mar cheird, léiríonn siad scil, oilteacht agus dúthracht – cáilíochtaí a thaispeánann nach bhfaightear torthaí den chéad scoth gan stró. Chun a gceart féin a thabhairt dóibh, is mapáil datha atá sa bhróidnéireacht, sórt líníocht datha a thiontaíonn ansin go saothair a bhféadfaí ‘Comhrá Pailéid’ a thabhairt orthu. Sa deireadh thiar thall, cuirtear na píosaí bróidnéireachta i dtírdhreach a bhfuil rún aige a phéinteáil, amhail is gur ofráil nó íobairt atá iontu. Mar chomhartha ar an iarracht agus ar an scil, aithníonn na fosaithe infheistíocht an ealaíontóra agus marcálann siad pointe ar an aistear cruthaitheach. Beidh suiteáil ina cuid den taispeántas mar mharc ar an acomhal ar leith seo. 

I dtosach báire, is dathadóir atá in Ian Gordon. Tugann sé cúram don dóigh ina dtéann dath amháin le dath eile, don dóigh ina n-oibríonn pailéad, don bhroidearnach atá ann &rl.  Mar a dúirt Cezanne “Tá loighic ag baint le dathanna, agus is le seo amháin a ba chóir don ealaíontóir cloí agus chan le loighic na hinchinne”. Is ábhar suibíochtúil é seo, atá insonraithe agus inaitheanta ar aon ealaíontóir cumasach, macasamhail Rothko, Van Gogh, Klee &rl. Tá pictiúr de chuid Ian Gordon inaitheanta fosta; tá a phríomhfhócas ar chaibidil na ‘dathteanga’.

Tá Ian ina phéintéir paiseanta oilte tírdhreacha agus léiríonn an taispeántas seo go soiléir an comhghaol idir an dá chúram seo: dath agus báidh an ealaíontóra leis an tírdhreach. Is freagra fisiceach agus, ag an am céanna, neamhshaolta atá aige, freagra a léiríonn go héifeachtach an dearcadh a bhí ag Kandinsky, i.e. “Cruthaíonn dath suaitheadh síceach. Folaíonn dath cumhacht atá anaithnid go fóill, ach cumhacht atá fíor agus a oibríonn ar gach uile pháirt den chorp”.  Tá cuid tírphictiúirí Ian i gcónaí lán misnigh agus bríomhaireachta – siocair go bhfreagraíonn siad don suaitheadh seo, léiriú an mhothúcháin. 

Comhartha aitheantais eile atá le tabhairt faoi deara arís agus arís eile ar chuid saothar Ian is ea an eilimint riosca. Téann sé sa seans le caillteanas riachtanach a chuid fosuithe aestéitiúla atá curtha faoi thalamh, rud a chruthhaíonn baol breise ó thaobh na péintéireachta de. De bharr go gcuireann sé é féin isteach sa tírdhreach – en plein air, ris agus soghonta, Taobh lena Bhróidnéireacht Churtha, ardaíonn Ian an teannas agus téann sé i ngleic leis an dúshlán. Cruthaionn an teannas seo luas, gluaiseacht, gan smaoineadh, gan féineachas. Coinníonn sé greim docht ar a neart agus go himníoch, ach ag an am céanna, go spontáineach, éiríonn leis saothar lonrach spleodrach a chur inár láthair. Tá a chuid canbháis cosúil le “urraim infheicthe” gan teorainn  – don tírdhreach. Tugann an cur i láthir chun críche an deasghnáthas cruthaitheach ciorclach seo,  iarracht sheasta ………a thosóidh arís agus arís eile. Is fada, fada Ian ar shiúl ón ainrialtacht, is í an ealaín a bheatha agus ó tharla gur ealaíontóir fiúntach é, tá sé tiomanta don chosán éagoiteann atá cruthaithe aige dó féin. 

Beside My Buried Embroidery

Well known Donegal artist, Ian Gordon, has a substantial exhibition record. He attended the Wimbledon School of Art in the early seventies when the contemporary cultural view held painting as irrelevant, even antiquated. College wished to impart an academic education at a time when the rising generation was turning onto jazz, rock etc and creatively had more interest in developing definitions of ‘conceptual’ art, performance art etc. This juxtaposing experience influenced his departure from art college where he was told he was “an anarchic self educator“. Thirty years hence, I believe this misrepresents Ian and his work. The ‘anarchic’ labelling, a misnomer, may have contributed to Ian’s deferment in embracing painting as his passion. 

Good artists are by definition anarchic; this merely means a rejection of the formulaic or imposing rule. The true artist, as original seer, is obliged to invent their own mythology and methodology. Without this we would have no Impressionism, Expressionism, Fauvism, Conceptualism nor any other ‘ism’.

The artist will use, reject, re-engage and re-arrange primary elements that emerged in the initial or formative stages of their creative development. This develops as their ‘practice’. The roots and shape of Ian’s creative rhythm and ritual are clearly traceable and represent a serious commitment and integrity. 

Having rejected classical fine art education, Ian learned the craft of embroidery. At one time perhaps formal painting seemed useless, decadent or indeed even intimidating to Ian, and craft proved valid and worthy. This element would become an essential factor in his future practice. The embroideries now fulfil many purposes. They are rhythmic makings, meditatively formed, stirring the intuitive from its slumber. As craft they represent skill, adeptness and labour - demonstrating that quality results do not come easy. In their own right the embroideries are also colour mappings, a form of colour drawing which then translates into ‘Palette Dialogue’ works. Ultimately, the embroideries are buried in a landscape he has selected to paint, as an offering so to speak, as a sacrifice. Symbolising effort and skill the deposits recognise the artist’s investment and mark a point along the creative journey. This exhibition will include an installation marking this specific junction.

Ian Gordon is first and foremost a colourist. His concerns are to do with how one colour sits next to another, how a palette works, what is its vibration etc. As Cezanne noted “There is a logic of colours, and it is with this alone, and not with the logic of the brain, that the painter should conform”. This is a subjective matter, specific to and recognisable of any strong artist, such as say Rothko, Van Gogh, Klee etc. An Ian Gordon painting is recognisable also; his primary focus is the dialogue of the ‘colour language’.

Ian is a passionate and accomplished landscape painter and this exhibition sets out clearly the interrelationship between these two concerns; colour and the artist’s relationship with the land. His is both a physical and ethereal response aptly reflecting Kandinsky’s idea that “Colour provokes a psychic vibration. Colour hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the body”. Always, always Ian’s landscapes are vibrant and emboldened – because they are responses to these vibrations, expressions of the feeling. 

Another recurring signature of Ian’s work is the element of risk. He risks the enforced loss of his buried aesthetic deposits and sets up a further risk when it comes to painting. Placing himself in the landscape – en plein air, exposed and vulnerable, Beside his Buried Embroidery, Ian up’s the tension and faces the challenge. This tension evokes speed, movement, no thinking, no ego. Successfully holding his nerve, he anxiously yet spontaneously delivers a radiant, energetic production. His canvases are an unbounded “visual homage” – to the landscape. The delivery completes this circular creative ritual, a steady endeavour ………………which will begin again and again. Ian is far from anarchic, art is his life and being an honourable artist he has invented and is committed to his own original path. 

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