Artist’s Statement

I am a Canadian artist who grew up in Hamburg, Germany and emigrated to Montreal in the early Eighties. Permanent displacement made me acutely aware of the wide-ranging effects of loss of adequate textual language, or “mother tongue”.

In order to explore the communicative properties of images versus textual accounts, in January 2001 I embarked on a project entitled 2001 Earth Odyssey: a visual diary, comprised of an acrylic painting per week on stretched, 10″ x 12″ canvasses.

When I viewed the completed series it became apparent that with a single glance I could instantly recall the events of an entire year. In contrast, when consulting a written diary, such a feat would be impossible, as it would take a considerable amount of time to read the sequence of events; thus the recollection would not be instantaneous.

The idea was to directly paint onto the canvas without prior thumbnail sketches, in order to capture the previous week in a simple image, not in an illustrative but in an intuitive, symbolic fashion. For a painter of usually highly detailed, large-scale paintings, this allowed for a minimum of self-censorship, which in turn permitted a fresh, uninhibited approach to painting.

2001 Earth Odyssey is my attempt to visually capture the life of one human being on our planet – myself – over the course of the year 2001.

Maison de la Culture NDG, Montréal – 2002
Visual Arts Centre, Westmount – 2002

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