Page 15 - Richard Kenton Webb: Vol.5
P. 15

to me, Levinas is focused on, is the importance of embodied experience,
                               the stuff and materiality of paint, charcoal and ink. The knowledge that
                               comes from getting your hands dirty, of feeling the pigment beneath
                               your fingers. Because stuff tells us there is something outside of our -
                               selves. I look at these amazing charcoal drawings and even though I am
                               seeing them with my eyes it is as though I can feel the dust beneath my
                               fingers, it accumulates on my retina, touching the eyes of my skin as the
                               Finnish architect, Juhani Pallasmaa describes in his wonderful book,*
                               which has inspired us both in recent years.

                       RKW   You keep talking about paint as coloured dirt, and I find that really
                               impor tant and interesting. I don’t use manufactured paint anymore–
                               it fails me. It doesn’t do what I want it to do. It’s too chemical, too far
                               removed from what paint actually is. When I started painting the Colour
                               Grammar, everything changed. I started making my own paint using
                               actual pig ments, often from ground up rocks. We are made from ‘dirt’
                               as it were, the land we stand on is made from dirt and paint is made from
                             dirt. Everything is united. Painting is therefore an embodied con ver sation
                             bringing together physical matter and the imagination. Platonists
                             despised the body and focused on the mind, putting thought first and
                             the senses second. What Levinas was seeking was to put the senses first

                             *Pallasmaa, Juhani, The Eyes of the Skin, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 2012
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