Artist's statement
This exhibition of paintings was proposed as a view into the exploration and development of painting ideas in my studio. The title "proto-poetic" evokes the idea of marks or signs that are utterances of thoughts and feelings. These paintings are also "proto" in the meaning of an early stage of formation, and could be regarded as preparatory notes—like words or sounds—for a longer poem or song. In that sense, the paintings are incomplete; they allude to more.

As simple works made by hand, the paintings are also intended to be delightful in their material presence; objects of contemplation; shapes and textures of coloured mud.

Starting with smaller studies in oil and acrylic, these painted works employ both controlled mark-making as well as gesture to explore themes of balance and instability, constraint and freedom, buoyancy and fluidity.

The paintings also reference and acknowledge the history of abstract painting in many ways. Building upon that history, they attempt to be something new.

Daniel Sharp