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The Soul of Matter

Exhibtion foreword for Luan Gallery, March 2022

The longer I have been involved with art making the more it feels like a kind of alchemy. A certain combination of matter, of energy, of attention, when measured and adjusted, gives rise to something which I came to conclude seems like magic. 


The ‘base’ materials in this case -  paint, canvas, clay - pass through the hands and are arranged and shaped and coloured and rearranged, again and again, until transmutation occurs. Somehow the object becomes more than just the sum of its parts.  


To a world which is constructed on ration and logic, believing in and actively pursuing this magic can sometimes seem outlandish. If these doubts are allowed to seep in they can quickly dilute the potency of one's resolve and so every care should be taken in preserving one's inner sanctum.


As I've grown older and become more practised I have also grown to question this magic less and less. I no longer feel responsible for analysing its origins or explaining its workings, to myself or to others, though I am indeed its faithful servant. The moment I claim some deeper knowledge of these forces of creation is the same moment they evaporate. 


When making art each side of the triangle is considered: artist + artwork + creative process. One cannot be altered without affecting the other. My role then involves not only physically manipulating materials but also working in the subtle inner realm. This involves the cultivation of openness and receptivity - to matter, to energy, to feeling - and the development of self discipline in order to facilitate the clearest possible translation of these creative energies.   


Undertaking this work becomes the place to practise daily the kindling of the fire, the tending to the light and the preservation of a sense of wonder. It is where all the lead, both inner and outer, becomes both fuel and catalyst in the process of transformation into gold.


I hope you enjoy some of the light and colour and energy of this exhibition just as much as I do.

Derick Smith Image for Luan Gallery Poster 2022 sml.png
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