Gareth Bate

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Plastic Paintings: Hanlan's Point

Artist Statement
Gareth Bate
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The body of work Plastic Paintings evolved intuitively out of a desire to challenge painting and affirm its adaptability, by extending it beyond the two-dimensional surface out into the world. It incorporates painting, installation, land art, photography and video.

I am excited by the idea of spatial and formless paintings that can be transformed by their environment. I see this body of work as a physical manifestation of my search for a way of understanding the world. This has lead me to the philosophy of Naturalism: the view all phenomena can be explained through study of the natural world rather than resorting to supernatural explanations. This affirms a sense of wonder and poetry in nature and science. Culture is nature, as opposed to being somehow separate, or driven by some outside spiritual force.

My paintings are constructed by sealing acrylic paint and water between hundreds of textured layers of plastic cling wrap. The transparent paint layers mix optically like glazing. The paint remains wet and is allowed to shift inside. Sheets of plastic are built up, through overlapping, until they spread out into circular, square and amorphous forms.

The finished pieces are then placed in natural and urban settings as nomadic, temporary interventions. They change dramatically as they interact with different environments, light and atmospheric weather conditions. Rather than a live encounter, this experience exists only through the frame and aura of colour photography and video. The handmade paintings provide the accumulation of time, while photography and video preserve the ephemeral moment. The absence of the object’s physical presence reflects my longing for a relationship with nature.

For this body of work Gareth won The 401 Richmond Career-Launcher Prize.

Plastic Paintings have been exhibited at Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto Public Health Office, Gallery 260 at 401 Richmond, and the OCAD graduate exhibition.

Special Thanks: Carolyn Dinsmore & Graham Jackson

Medium: Colour photographs of installations made of acrylic paint in plastic cling-wrap
Locations: Hanlan's Point, Toronto Islands & 
East Point, Prince Edward Island
Oct. 2006 - Aug. 07
Between Reality & Fantasy at Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects
Plastic Paintings at Public Health Canada Office
Plastic Paintings at Studio 260 at 401 Richmond
Plastic Paintings: Tour de Force: Graduate Exhibition at Ontario College of Art & Design.