Mark Holliday

Liverpool

This journey is me conversing with canvas and light. A protruding buldge of wax allows a branch to wing outwards with its awesome weight as it lollopes forward. A fissure in the pigment follows precisely the line of an old branch. These landscapes of my childhood, thru painting, I rediscover them intimately.

With red pigment at my finger's twitch, I can persuade memories to come to the canvas's surface, its membrane surface, to brush against it and stain it with their smells.

That's me, at the end of the table inside the Calgary studio, that's me on a tiny boat rowing across the Atlantic, in a severe waxy painting, all layered into pieces and brushed backed together. Tugged outside of Canada and into the negative space of the summer of youth.

October, without fail, I feel for my wedding ring; and how many years has it been now, 10, 12, 13? Rub my fingers against each other while I'm walking down the street, and think did I leave my bicycle locked-up, are the children in their beds, rub and rub and then remember, oh yes, 9.

I'm tied into this painting, fragments brushed together, I'm not drowning, yet I'm in the depths, those aren't my boots I wear for painting, I'm not down searching out my past in underwater caves, I'm in the studio, at the end of the table, stuck; see that tiny dollup of wax is an eyeball, there's a shoulder just above the sloping branches, my long shin-bone is that upper stretch.

Hard for parts to communicate, dismembered and fixed as they are in this random pattern.

There's no automatic signal for it to be over, no school bell, no beeper, no end of autumn, I'll stand here all winter I guess, until I figure it out. I've given up on the magic fish that will leap golden from the water and blow a tiny silver trumpet at me. No such fish will appear. No.

I'll just be waxing this canvas. Dismembered. Getting so accustomed to the fragmented state that I think it's normal. A shoulder caustically smucked just above my left ear? Of course! How else would you have it? Where's your shoulder? What? There? Beside the other one? Front and center - next to the fence? Good heavens. My legs are bent into your horizon.

I love the landscape's invitation, wherever it may lead. Down some hill in the Lake District some small boy with a few items in a rucksack runs like hell past some large old tree and hurtles into his own front yard and stumbles, falls, skins his knee on the cobblestone, and contemplates crying but settles on a wince instead.

That might do it.