Approaches to abstraction: improvisation

My work is an expression of subjective experience, offering a response to the world around us and a reflection upon life. The pieces excavate my memories and experiences (both seen and felt), gesturing to meanings and feelings that exist outside the works themselves and within the viewer’s own emotions and experience.

Over time a language has been developed that plays and responds to the painting itself. Responding to textures, drips, creases, edges, fibres of paper, the space the pieces are created in, and rips and tears of the support (often results of the way the paint has been applied) all play into the making of the pieces and are integral to the process. This body of work has began to explore the work in actual space, creating constructions through collage that transcend the picture plane. By the actions of ripping and tearing, elements of the pieces overlap and react with each other, physically pushing areas backwards and forwards. By responding to these elements through reworking the pieces, the structure and support of the piece often becomes the painting itself.

It has taken many years to gain the experience and understanding into my engagement with the medium which has resulted in my being able to work in this way, often very quickly relying on my instinct, intuition and experience of the medium and my way of working. Working quickly and ‘in the moment’ allows me to create a dialogue with the painting, having a conversation in some ways, responding to changing form and colour as the process develops and the painting matures. This results in a process of Improvisation best likened to music, Free Jazz and the improvised solo in more traditional Jazz.

Adam Blackburn

From left to right. Approaches to Abstraction: Exhibition view. Approaches to Abstraction: Untitled #1. Approaches to Abstraction: Untitled #4. Approaches to Abstraction: 30207. Approaches to Abstraction: Untitled #3.

© Adam Blackburn 2019