The films are artworks themselves interpreting the emotional, sensual process of painting in a cinematic language.
Using a technique he calls ‘’reverse archaeology’’, Graham Dean re-invents the traditional uses of watercolour resulting in a unique technique. Contrasting layers of paint are applied separately on thick, handmade paper from Southern India. Each sheet has undergone a process of tearing and overlapping to create a final composition; this corresponds to the multiple layers of the epidermis, which protects the human body.
The process is organic and cyclical, the paintings appear fragmented and destroyed using sections (front and back) that lead to a renaissance in the form of a new composition. The application of paint glazes (multiple, transparent layers) creates intensity and depth. The juxtaposition of complimentary colours creates strong, theatrical works.
Graham’s painting is an investigation between the inside and the outside, the surface and what lies beneath. Arms, faces, torsos, legs become interchangeable – anonymous but recognisable, The body becomes a canvas, torn and stretched, a vehicle for the imagination of the artist. The works are open to interpretation, free, as are the movements of watercolour, colours and sensual shapes.
He is essentially a painter of identity. But more than the identity of the body, it is the identity of the soul as evoked by these sumptuous watercolours. Something deeply personal, his images are recomposed in a creative alchemy, mixing people, body parts and time itself. He has also used buildings, mysterious ships, and confessionals in churches, forests, and trains, to enhance these atmospheric moods. For Graham Dean, the body is a ‘holding-pen of emotions’, a ‘thinking body’ similar to the research done by Wilhelm Reich. His characters are the receptacles of these emotions, ideas, and memories.
Part 1 Waterproof,
Part 2 Interview with Graham Dean
Part 3 Falling between Floorboards
Part 4 Behind the Curve - Paintings
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