Sammy Tapp and Georgia Lauren Graham

Painting and the collision with reality and illusion.  

The act of painting provides for the painter, an opportunity to create an imagined version of reality that exists as a collision of their everyday experiences, against their own visual expectations. The precise documentation of reality would be the capturing of a moment as exactly experienced by a person at any one certain moment and precise time. Painting does not do this. The painting captures the very human need to create a version of reality that dances with the hope that illusions provide. As a painting captures that which escapes life and the realities of existence, the resulting distortion leads to an idealised version of reality that shapes our exploration of the world.  

In documenting the collision between the experiences of life and hope that applying paint to the surface provides, the resulting work documents a single perception, becoming reality as it is presented to the world. Therefore, in sharing one’s own experiences through documentation such as painting, the viewer is able to explore the medium as a comparison to their own fund of life experiences. Therefore, in both the creation and viewing of painting the object itself becomes a vessel for the potential of the boundary between reality and illusion to be formed. If reality is life as we know it, and illusion is a distortion of such a perception, then painting is a form of imagined reality, challenged by the illusion created in reaction to the gathering of the experiences of life of which we wish to visually achieve.  

Reality subconsciously interferes with the painter’s need to create an illusion, through moments at which nuances of experiences weave their way into the work, in such that even seemingly random choices of colour, shape, form or line refer to a specific interaction in life. Therefore, the relationship between reality and illusion refers to the constant cycle of life inflecting upon the creative act and resulting in paintings that simultaneously explore both notions of the expectation of reality as well as the distortion through illusion.


Words: Sammy Tapp, Fine Art, @sammytapp_art

Illustration: Georgia Lauren Graham, Fine Art, @georgiagrahamart

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