Interview starts at approximately 54:00 minutes
This week on FORUM, we are delighted to have the magnificent artist, T J Bateson – artist, curator, arts educator, and founder of Tacit Art Gallery.
TJ (Tim) Bateson explores an iteration of the mark that embraces and celebrates machine-made aesthetics alongside evidence of the hand of the artist within an immersive, visual experience.
Through introspection into personal meaning, Tim’s work has a gentle and calming influence that is striving to be immersive – a totality of aesthetic experience – a process of intrigue, that requires and reflects the time spent by both the artist and the viewer, to provide an essay in discretion, inwardness and silence.
Long influenced by the Australian artist Ian Fairweather in celebrating meditative pattern and rhythm of quiet tonality, through multiple iterations Tim looks to embody a passage of thought, a response to time – inviting you to take a breath, and replenish one’s self while providing a vehicle for others to contemplate and re-evaluate.
Driven by a process, Tim’s practice is machine-like, but not arbitrary. The work is scaffolded by mechanisms, yet still shows the traditional hand-painted line of the brush. By repetition, these lines function as a healing and meditative activity, in much the same recall of the spinning circular grooves of vinyl records – hypnotically drawing in the eye.
Over the years, Tim’s work has evolved from the obsessive layering of carefully angled drips and neatly placed hand-pixelated squares to where the artist’s hand has been reinforced by a more mechanical means. Simple machines such as rulers or anchored wires, controlled by the hand, allow the slightly shifting lines to slowly migrate across the canvas. The artist’s uniquely considered placement of each individual mark gives way to the advance of an army of lines regimentally following each other, like the seconds that make up a minute and eventually complete the hour.
No line or mark is identical, the process is not digital it is paint, demonstrative of where his brush lines break and crumble, leaving windows between the pieces that enable us to see the layers of colour below. Tim’s work becomes a conversation of curves, like the ripples on a pond where the stones’ initial circles are re-impacted by the returning vibrations that echo from the shore.
A renowned colourist, Tim’s work displays a limited tonal range with complex layers of colour. The effect of each singular hue is muted into a relationship, rather like the atmospheric works of JMW Turner or the subtlest of the Impressionists. His elusive shifts of hue in a limited palette result in a layering of abstract surfaces, that explores the interplay of low contrasts and how the changes in spatial relationships shift and change due to shallow spaces and the broken moment of pattern.
As artist, critic and writer Kerrilee Ninnis stated of Bateson, his works are “a mapping of thoughts, a visualisation of his cognition, reacting to the paint itself rather than being inspired by external natural forms.”
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Text: Keith Lawrence | Edited Lee-Ann Joy
Image: (excerpt) TJ Bateson, Iteration, Blue Grey Field, Multiple wood engraving printed intaglio. 35.5 (h) x 32 (w) cm