Artificiality and Myths

      All art is artificial. Whatever the subject, or object, art is a way in which we see the world. Figurative painting is done using metaphors that reconstruct or re-imagine the things we see around us to explain, celebrate, reinforce or destroy assumptions in our lives. It’s not like religion, you don’t have to believe what you see or construct, and it’s not like science, you don’t have to prove anything according to universal rules. But it does deal with universal human values expressed through cultural views.

   Nobody looking at a painting can be under the illusion that it was made by anything other than in an artificial way so what it says about myths or non-physical circumstances, however credible it may seem, is open to analysis, indeed part of the enjoyment of painting is that very process of scrutiny. 

Harry Holland has always understood this and seen it as the most interesting part of making paintings and, especially in the later myth paintings, has created studio setups which refer to and explore metaphysical events but without the need for suspension of disbelief.

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