At any given time, our world faces problems and crises that humanity struggles to address. Already this century is presenting a unique combination of challenges heightened no doubt by the immediate and ceaseless barrage of information presented by the internet. Like many people, and as an artist, I have watched and listened and searched for understanding.
My new series of paintings contemplates the paradox of "less is more" and the various interpretations of that phrase. The dictionary offers this definition, "to express the view that a minimalist approach to artistic matters is more effective, that there is value in simplicity and that more can be accomplished with less."
In a world of excess, less can also offer both relief and a solution. Having less of one thing can lead to more of another. Our lives are inundated with endless information, good and bad. Stepping back from this overload, offers relief and more relaxation. In another example, the endless demands of consumerism greatly stress our lives and the planet. Simply put, buying less, accumulating less, wanting less, takes pressure off of our lives and offers more freedom. It certainly offers relief to the planet. This interpretation of "less is more" can be applied to many issues including less confrontation, more peace. It begins with priorities and what is truly important.
My new work pares down the excess. There is a certain peace in the simplicity. The smaller focal point, the movement and energy of the organic black and white drawing, is relieved by the clean edge and larger mass of solid colour. Less is more. Less offers more.
Painting each work in this series is an exercise in meditation, the circular forms a reflection of the Zen ensō. Focusing on the form is enough, at once complete and endless, empty yet full. Another paradox to consider. Less is more.
These are my thoughts, expressed visually, offered humbly, but my joy comes from the individual interpretation of each viewer.
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Anna Horsnell SCA
Canadian painter of contemporary abstract art