Car Door 1
Tempera on paper on board
14,8 x 18,8 cm (5 1/2 x 7 1/8 in) (image)
31,1 x 35,2 x 3 cm (12 1/4 x 13 3/4 x 1 1/8 in) (framed)
The work is from a new body of work exploring images from the artist’s image archive, among them decades old snapshots associated with personal memories, tied to a specific place, a moment in time. Andrew Grassie chose motifs that had held his attention for reasons he could not always explain: photos from his image archive, sometimes many decades old and exuding a vague awkwardness, became sources for these works.
Each image of this series can be traced to a specific moment, often specific visual phenomena, remembered by the artist for personal and/or artistic reasons.
In the words of Andrew Grassie:
"The image depicts my car door, parked by the roadside near the sand dunes at St Andrew’s golf course in Fife, Scotland. On a trip there last year, I had in mind this photograph of an intrepid ‘Nessie watcher’, standing outside his car, behind the open door, facing mysterious loch, looking through a pair of large binoculars. It’s a staged photograph of someone patiently looking at nothing but hoping to see something miraculous. It’s an image of faith over belief. I equate this with much in life including art itself."
The intimately scaled, precisely painted work is executed in tempera, a painting technique associated with pre-Renaissance panel paintings anteceding the development of oil paint.
Part of the conceptual premise of transforming fleeting memories captured by photographic snapshots, into unique work of art executed with a time and labor intensive traditional technique, Grassie painted this motif twice. The delicate pattern of tiny brushstrokes characteristic of tempera painting makes each image clearly unique, yet the repetition of the motifs encourages a close examination of the small differences.