Tom Kirby describes the theme for this show and the images in his paintings “as a transcendent moment of illumination.” He explains his paintings as “a glimpse of the timeless essence behind the surface appearance of reality.”
For this artist how the image is arrived at is as important as the final vision itself. The method of creating these artworks is a process of variation of ingredients of the paint mixtures, glazes and varnishes. No two mixtures are identical from one painting to the next. It is the opposite of formulaic painting. Gold dust, ground pearl, powdered graphite and rare resins like amber and sandarac are examples of the elements added to these mixtures. Tom finds the intrinsic physical properties of these materials fascinating.
This process is similar to that of the medieval alchemists who varied the elements in their concoctions while searching for the elixir of immortality. These permutations in the painting process are their own goal or product. This is in accord with nature’s tendency toward variation and change. As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “in ceaseless change, all things find rest.” These variations are the sine qua non of subtle, transcendent quality of these paintings.
Please join us for the artist opening reception on November 23, 2012.