My interest in mountains dates back to my childhood when my brother and I would scramble around our backyard of British Colombia’s coastal range on Vancouver’s North Shore. My severance for these snow-capped peaks extends itself into devotional pursuit whereby I not only paint these mountains but climb most of them as well. Recent ski mountaineering expeditions into the Grand Tetons for example give an intimate sense of the mountain range and its characteristics, forging a relationship between the images I create and my experiences.
In removing the individual mountain from the surrounding range I decontextualize the subject, making it symbolic rather than representational. I treat the mountains like celebrities, fashioning larger-than-life, unattainable, beautiful, and mysterious portrayals. I also record their rugged features in detail, as they individually assume their own unique personalities. My use of bright monochromatic colors and dot overlay draws aesthetic and conceptual comparisons to Pop Art, implicating these colossal stone figures in the pop culture lexicon. In this light the work becomes an exercise in re-framing how we perceive the mountains; examining the function of representation and how preserving something in imagery can make it iconic.
My studying and mapping these various mountains is also a form of personal inquiry. The dots may represent coordinate plotting, metaphorically pointing to the impermanence of their man-made structures that attempt to prescribe location at the intersection of human and geological time. I also paint evidence of erosion, hoping to remind us of the temporal nature of the mountains which, seemingly anchored in time, force us to acknowledge our transient existence on this earth.