Artist Statement: Michael Worobec, FRAGMENTS, Solo Show October 2017

The characters in my paintings illustrate windows to an archive; they portray a visit from the past. We come into existence as a blank page or screen. Genetics are in place to start us off; then external factors are marshalled and start to shape that blankness. Our personality, our self-image is played out in a theatre directed by experiences and events.            

Geometric and sharp shapes, manifested in many of the works; they assemble to change and augment life. The wings of freedom and self-expression are clipped by social conventions, rules, bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia and violence. This solo show is an account, a personal archive where imposition, doubt and anxiety are chronicled.

Faces look out in various directions at us, the viewer, with an overhang of sadness and perhaps regret. Fading and at times merging into the background, their stoic quality could be seen as a rebuke to life, history and adversity, or perhaps a message of defiance, a plea not to be battered by these external and internal sources that undermine our collective and individual happiness.

Political events and interpersonal histories merge; they ebb and flow across these paintings. The flickering of a digital or analogue screen, the staining of a page in an old dusty book; all are evoked in and on these spectres.

My work illustrates or symbolises structures; physical, personal, societal, emotional or biological. I use abstract or figurative elements to bear testimony to our journey through life: Birth and entry, subsequent growth and flourishment, and the inevitable road to our demise and extinction. Scientific and mathematical shapes and signs appear: Circles, points of reference, perhaps on a map or a codex of cryptic writings.

Fragments emerged out of a picture in my head of a spacecraft, an automated vehicle travelling through time and space, many years after life existed on earth, an empty vessel that has become the depository of these Fragments, a bank of images, totems. These characters are representatives from various epochs in human history; perhaps ghosts. These shadows appear and disappear, blinking in the darkness. Perhaps some calamity on Earth led to human extinction? All that is left of humankind is this sad collection, a failing visual record. These characters, totems of humanity, are now the bare bones left behind after the passing of life. 

© Michael Worobec 2017