At the end of last year I wrote a post stating my interest in Professor Danko Nikolic’s practopoiesis theory, as I had begun to think about the possibility of correspondences with pictopoiesis*. I was delighted to see that my post was noticed by Danko Nikolic himself, so I connected by email and he has just sent me his paper on ideasthesia, which I am reading through carefully, along with studying the concepts of practopoiesis.
*I had just put the word pictopoiesis together, then googled it and pictopoiesis could not be found – the nearest word practopoiesis came up instead – so, of course I followed this up.
I feel that potentially practopoiesis gives me a frame of reference for analysing the otherwise impossible-to-analyse (because it contains so much that is intuitive) dialogue between myself and the painting whilst I am in the process of actually making it. Specifically, I would like to be able to better explain the thinking from within it, alongside reflecting on it. The thing is, the dialogue between myself and the painting has everything to do with the medium itself – its handling, which is something the eventual audience has not been directly involved with, though they may get a strong feeling about it. My chosen medium of oil paint has constraints and limitations and freedoms that affect what the painting actually becomes, as an emergent property of how it has been brought into being.
At the end of this post is a sequence of images of a painting I completed recently. This time working backward, beginning with the uppermost level (the completed work) in the painting’s practopoietic/pictopoietic hierarchical system of organisation. In the final stage of the painting, the earliest raw passages of paint are still visibly evident. The painting interconnects all the tiers of thought that have gone into it. To be able to render it systematically without compromising the intuitive component is a matter of being fully aware of what I am doing, knowing it inside out.
Over many years, by a process of filtering and distilling all components, material and immaterial, I have invented my own approach and in the process been addressing the traditional medium of oil with a view to giving it a new result. Given that there is so much known history of oil painting so far, the odds have been very much against me coming up with something new with the oil medium but actually, I like the resistance and constraint in it all. Freedom out of limitation. As long as I can envisage and do the next painting, as long as the limitations are not overwhelming, I am happy. I have to say though, that a sense of just holding off chaos is ever present too. All is a continuous rebalancing, which drives the reformation and transformation of the whole.
In my painting, I connect across all realms, of thought, material and immaterial, past and present. The earliest applications of paint are still evident in the final stage – I have worked across a hierarchy of thought, integrating and unifying as I go. Could the painting perhaps be understood in terms of a visual evidencing of the traverses of practopoiesis?
Below is the sequence of the painting, Mind Mirror (I exist as I am, that is enough) oil on aluminium 125 x 123 cm, completed recently, working backward right back to the first passage of paint, the final stage first: