James F. Watkinson
Critical Moments & Curious Encounters
an exhibition of drawings on book covers

The Difficulties of Flight, 2004, 12.5 x 19 cm
opening: thursday february 19th exhibition: february 19th to march 17th 2004 hours: mon-fri 2-6pm and by apmt.
vernissage: jeudi 19 février exposition: 19 février au 17 mars 2004 horaire: lun-ven 14-18h et sur rd-vs
artist's statement

All of my work, regardless of medium, has a narrative content.

The sculptures, realized as box constructions and assemblage, imply allegory. Branches, for example, represent not only actual forests but also the forest of the mind, the moral or spiritual wilderness in which we all must wander at some time. Mutability and mortality are frequent themes life-affirming gestures such as eating, drinking, dancing, singing, loving and making love often balance them with a touch of whimsy.

The drawings, unlike the more studied sculptures, contain a strong element of discovery. Using a technique similar to the "automatism" of the surrealists I maneuver the pencil but begin with no pre-conceived notion about what I will draw. As the images emerge from my unconscious I begin to take a more active role in decision-making. Gradually they evolve into finished drawings which appear much like scenes isolated from a dream.

The paintings have a surrealistic aspect also but more consciously reflect memory or thoughts about the relationship between men and women. They are usually painted in acrylic on wood panels with images of individuals incorporated as collage elements.

In the photographic pieces I explore the relationships between men and women as a "collaboration" between myself as James F. Watkinson and also as Phyllis Anne DuCoyne. This, I believe, influences the settings which are often stylized to create an atmosphere that is slightly askew, seemingly real but not quite real, quietly humorous, and often fraught with mishap and misstep.

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