This Remembering Land (March 24, 2015)
Opening Reception: 24th March from 6pm, Preview 23rd March London
Buried deep in a cave on the coast of South Africa a one hundred thousand year old mixture of pigment and liquid was discovered. This paint making toolkit played a crucial role in our understanding of the evolution of the human mind, and led to the repositioning of the birthplace of modern human behaviour from Europe to Africa.
Intrigued that a mixture of land and liquid in a perlemoen shell can speak of who we were as a species at a crucial stage in our evolution, Parton explores what paint is today and what it may tell to those in the future about us, as we stand at the cusp of an environmental challenge that will determine our legacy.
In her process, she collects discarded paint remnants in all forms from people who use it, from renowned artists such as Marlene Dumas to unknown local housepainters. Parton works to understand its nature, exploring properties such as its three-dimensionality, weight, memory, flexibility, fragility, strength and impact on our immediate natural world, including our health. Attempts to change its destiny from landfill to artwork, from the discarded to the collected, have led me to develop a paint-making process, producing reclaimed paint from spent remnants and other forms of discarded creative material. Melikhaya Mdungwana and Tom Vidal assist her to process this paint for use in her art making.As Parton works with it, the paint becomes a metaphor for how land speaks of our interaction with it. - Carolyn Parton