“Only the canvas is immobile. These paintings mobilise the eye, the brain, the heart, the intellect.”
To live with these paintings is to be offered the pleasures of certainty and the awakening of uncertainty. The brain trained for pattern recognition and the understanding of structure is well exercised. You’re looking and making recognitions, then suddenly you need to re-engage with the painting to find out what you understood just a minute ago. You can develop tricks to help steady the 3 dimensional dynamics, come to find patches that enchant, cross-overs that please and the feeling of those all important spaces in between.
As MDS has worked on these canvases he has been both challenged and unswerving in meeting these challenges. Some have come to be what I call “the text books”. They state clearly a cube and the associated harmonics of the colour of each side of the cube. Their clarity is appropriate as they describe the simple connection, colour can be sound. Sound has harmonics, so does colour.
Other paintings have been developed in other ways, as MDS says these are test patterns really. It’s a matter of having an idea and trying it out in different ways.
For over forty years MDS has been hooked into the exploration of the relationship between colour and sound. His retrospective show Colour Can Be Sound currently at Pah Homestead (until 4th February 2014) offers a view or a map of his journey: his commitment, exploring his understanding in different ways, his use of colours and their associated harmonics as a tool for both painting and musical composition. All presented to a culture blinded by habits of thinking. Still as he says, the paintings will wait.
I have been awed by Michael’s determination to complete these Immobiles. He has defied his ageing and painfilled body. He says this is his last sound and colour show – maybe his last solo show.
As a concluding acknowledgement, the apparent weather change from global warming has helped this show enormously. The unseasonal heat of the sun has dried the oils and alkyd paint so fast they have been worked on by Michael twice a day.
The last paint was applied on Saturday 16 November. We left the delights of home and Otama on Sunday 17 November, bringing these works to market’. – Gian McGregor 17/11/13