Peter Matthews

Atlantic Drift

2013. Acrylic paint, enamel paint, rope, plastic buoy and styrofoam on wood. Width 130cm x height 107cm.

1 painting, 3 paintings lost to an Atlantic Ocean storm

Layers of paint are applied to the board as an unknown storm approaches out in the Atlantic Ocean. By instinct, a length of rope with an old plastic fishing buoy is bound around the body of the object, in a manner connecting the lone painting with a satellite object that has an ocean history of time and place, journeying and detachment. At low tide, the painting is jettisoned from dry land and cast into the ocean. The painting drifts with free association for hours and hours, subject to the constant flux of physical forces around it. With time and with following its unknown and unplanned journey as an object on the open ocean, the painting becomes marked by the passage and experience of time and place. Exploring the notions of object and process, presence and absence, the natural autonomy of mark-making, to make something and then watch it go not knowing if it will ever return from the vast abyss of the ocean, but by mysterious chance one painting came back - to then try then and decipher an abstract code and language which the ocean has transmitted to the painting.