Medium: Oil on Board
My work has always been predominantly inspired by nature but I also frequently make reference to the Proustian concept of involuntary memory.
I’ve always been fascinated by and collected tribal art figures. Depicted in these paintings are fertility figures from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries from the Dogon, Fang Gabon, Sepic River and Baoulé tribes. Carved by hand with very basic tools over a century ago or more, I feel that they conjure memories for me of their makers, their owners and keepers throughout their history. Often carved to represent the souls and spirits of the dead, those souls, travel forward through time touching those in whose possession they are.
Several pieces from my collections have seemed to follow me. Perhaps I had missed buying them at one point only for them to turn up again at a later date at a different auction or fair. Perhaps they were made by people that were associated with me in a past life and trigger a memory and a feeling of connection to and previous knowledge of those objects.
The vintage 60s/70s Gollies, whilst controversial to some, simply trigger the recollection of the safety and comfort of childhood - safe in the sanctuary created for me by my parents.
I have a slight obsession with flamingos - the way they move - they remind me of the curvaceousness of the female form and yet are phallic too in the shape of their necks and heads. For me they represent love and fertility and so sit well alongside the tribal fertility figures.
The fish in the paintings are frozen - my message in these depictions is that we’re destroying what feeds and sustains us along with the native cultures who revered, respected and lived with nature rather than plundering it for their own financial gain.
This body of work will be on display at Broomhill Art Hotel in North Devon from April 1st 2018 to the end of July.
Paul Broomfield 2018