My drawings have been described, appropriately, as: menacing and mischievous, serenely melancholic, sexual, dark and sinister, but playful and humorous.
‘I am driven by, or tormented by, life-long struggles with cyclothymia. Generously appointed a five syllabled title it resides within the realms of its more established sibling, bipolar – although flipping, more frequently, from hypomania to engulfing darkness. I am content in both extremes, when there! On a plateau, somewhere in between, this is when I reflect upon the extremes. From socially awkward to manic entertainer, my polaric friends can be quite exhausting, (for those too close also). There’s relevance to divulging, a teasing small window into my emotionally charged narratives or awkward focus on the visceral’
My technique is both aggressive and delicate in execution. The multi-layering of oil pastel and pencil creates depth and attempts to emulate the marks and surfaces achieved in materials like paint, clay or plaster. The images often take on a biomorphic quality as scratches reference marked time and inevitable scarring of the epidermal layer.
When three dimensions become two, references to scale often become ambiguous. A background might become a backdrop when objects cast vertical shadows upon it. The images, with prop-like objects, seem more like dioramas, scenes waiting for further content, or long forgotten stage sets. The narrative is, essentially and deliberately, misleading.
Water, or fluid, is one of the recurring elements in my work, appearing as puddles, ponds or streams. This ‘water’ is always depicted dark and the scratched, reflective, surfaces do not reveal the true depth or what may be lurking beneath. I like to tease, often hiding an alternative narrative in plain sight. Allegory plays an important role, as does the absurdity of our existence.
In a series of drawings, collectively titled, ’Nests’, I weave a mass network of branch or capillary-like structures with tangled ladders. These stark, black, networks create unknown, menacing, depth. They become sinister traps as much as they represent, by title, somewhere homely and secure. A recent development of these drawings produces a more organic feel, creature-like forms emerging from the twisted mass – enhanced more by the spin-off series now titled, ‘Monsters’. But even under this new rubric of ‘Monster’, there’s still a playful, almost jokey, lure into the darkness.
Stanley Greening 2018