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Friday, 26 June 2015

Patrick Altes: Frayed Ideologies and Hybridity

‘Frayed Ideologies’ at the Hay Hill Gallery presents the latest paintings by the internationally acclaimed artist Patrick Altes and invites us to consider the struggle to define ourselves, and the process of being human.

The work relates to the melting pots and breaking points of land, conflict, and diaspora. It refers to our living in times of extreme turbulence and instability – both political and environmental - and herald dreams and resurgences from the unconscious linked to the artist's personal vision and perception of the world. The series of large-scale paintings are visually arresting with their powerful monochromatic collages and complex markings. They depict mass movement, the drive and energy of eruption, transition and revolution. These shreds of papers collaged on the canvas are purposely distressed, torn and show marks of the passage of time. They are never-merging and forever juxtaposing; they find their junctions and their specific arrangement to form non-random, synchronistic shapes, patterns, movements and tensions, which echo the inner tensions driving the artistic process. The use of paper is deliberately reminiscent of calligraphy and arabesques. It harks back to a variety of western and eastern influences: Aborigines' myths of origins, Villeglie's torn posters, Japanese action painting, and lyrical abstraction.

Patrick Altes says: "In a world with constant, often rapid and brutal transformation, our identity remains defined by our attachment and sense of belonging to a specific land. Straddling two worlds refers to this delicate and often uneasy balancing act that we experience when living in a culture different from the one we originate and the sense of uneasiness and not anchored that it elicits. This restlessness can be construed as a disadvantage or enjoyed for its liberating aspect. There is a mirror effect between outer fractures in the world and the inner turmoil we are experiencing. Sitting on the fence is no longer an option as moral dilemmas concern us all."

Hybridity by Altes can be seen in The Bridge at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Altes writes of this work: "Whether or not you are a believer, the cultural, social, and political importance of religions is indisputable. They are intertwined in the history of civilization and often the prime source of their evolution. They can act as great dividers or powerful pacifiers. This painting represents the living space of freedom and dynamic harmony religions can create when they bring the best in humanity."


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