New Assemblage gallery added
Kubada Pagoda and River Maiden Symmetry, 2006, As they look on the wall
So what is Physical Alchemy? When I was doing lots of the Digital Alchemy pieces I would often find myself in complex discussions with viewers trying to explain the layering process I used in the digital work. At some point I thought. 'I should just do a physical example of what I'm talking about as a visual aid. Little did I know I'd get so enamoured of the process. Traditionally pieces like this can be called mixed media, or more aptly, Assemblage. This is my least delved in genre by number of pieces, partially because they are very involved and take a while to do. This might be why they are often the most satisfying pieces when they're done. I've added a Physical Alchemy Gallery in paintings section.
I am acutely aware of the fact that I don't have an undo button when I'm working on these pieces, or if I do it usually involves industrial sanding, hammer work and maybe starting over from way back in the process. No easy bifurcations here. One piece in the gallery, Chinese Summer, sat on my desktop for maybe three months in loose pieces, while I tried to figure out if I had the right combination of elements, color, proportion. It's hard because once I get into the actual 'gluing and screwing it down' I end up improvising and changing, so I have to 'leave room' for that process as well. I've got a few half baked versions in this genre in the basement and in the garage, awaiting the sandblaster and inspiration.
If you think I'm kidding about the sandblaster, I've actually got one and it's great for distressing and deconstructing surfaces. In fact I'm threatening to get it out and set it up again.