On the Surface and Surface!

Curated by Cally Trench

Alex Dewart

On The Surface and Surface!

Untitled by Alex Dewart

Alex Dewart, Untitled, 2008
Acrylic on washi paper, 30 x 30 cm

Alex Dewart writes: Pattern is all around us. In man made ways this could be in dress fabrics or in floor tiling. In nature this occurs in the repeating forms of leaves or the spots of a cheetah.

The European philosopher Karl Popper wrote in Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach: 'It was first in animals and children but later in adults, that I observed the immensely powerful need for regularity - the need which make them seek for regularities.'

As humans it seems that we need the reassurance of repeating forms.

Popper put forward the 'Searchlight theory of the mind' - the theory that organisms constantly search and scan the environment.

In man's early days it was essential to be constantly on the look out for predators hence a searchlight mentality was needed scan the immediate surroundings, always on the lookout for some kind of change, some kind of disruption to the existing pattern. So really what intrigues and interests us as humans is the disruption to the pattern.

In this work, one set of regularities - the neat forms of printed origami paper are set against the expected painted motifs of English suburbia. But the two surfaces, the printed and the painted have no relationship to each other, apart from being sites of pattern and order - or have they?

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