Painting in focus – WWW

Posted in Art on Monday, 25th January 2010 at 7:29AM

WWW, Cotton stitch, acrylics and ink on canvas, 140cm x 90cm

It took 2 months of stitching, painting, drawing and plastering bleeding fingers to complete and is probably my most ambitious painting to date but it is also one that often gets overlooked as it’s hard to decipher  from a small image on the web.  The title, WWW (world wide web), is quite a good starting point in explaining this painting which is composed of a interconnected web of cotton threads which weave together to create a sort of global vista from Romania and Switzerland at it’s flanks, to San Francisco at its pinnacle.

Originally this painting was intended to be a drawing entirely composed of cotton thread stitched on to canvas but having completed this stage of the creation I knew that I could continue to work with this as a base to evolve still further.  Using a combination of paint and ink I started to work in to the drawing with tonal variations and thousands of tiny directional marks, the effect of this was to create a 3 dimensional illusion which, coupled with the actual 3rd dimension of the cotton standing slightly proud of the surface, offered a really intriguing visual experience.

From a conceptual point of view the painting looks at the interconnectedness of world societies and the relationship between places separated by geography and culture but intrinsically linked by threads of communication.  I liked the idea of trying to condense this global network onto a canvas and using San Francisco, the centre of the online world,  as a sort of hub from which these threads flow.

Having visited Silicon Valley and having also stayed in remote villages in Uganda and Romania, the idea that these places share a common communications network, which, give or take a few mbps, are to all intents and purposes equal, made me think.  Where historically commodities such as clean water and electricity have been grossly unbalanced in their global availability and access, the future information based commodities might finally bring some level of equality and opportunities  that has so far been illusive in many parts of the world.  This web between nations acts not only as a means to communicate but also as a symbol of hope.

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