Heidi Thompson presents several large energy fields for an exhibition.
affirmation, meditative intensity – and, not least, her pursuit of the clarity of which Rothko so eloquently spoke. Endnotes 1. See Michel Henry, at http://www.wikipedia.org/. 1. Painting a Spiritual Journey Inward - Art as Meditation by Jaison Cianelli http://www.newageinfo.com/painting-spiritual-meditation.htm JAMES D. CAMPBELL is an independent curator and art writer living in Montréal who has published numerous monographs, essays and reviews. Recently curated exhibitions, which were accompanied by catalogues, include Ron Martin, The Geometric Painting: 1981-1985 and Murray Favro: The Guitars 1966- 1989 at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, and Abstract Practices II at The Power Plant in Toronto. He also lectures on photography and contemporary art and is a regular contributor to art periodicals such as C Magazine.
HEIDI THOMPSON: THERE IS NO ANSWER A REVIEW BY JOHN K. GRANDE Attuned to the artist’s role as a medium, Heidi Thompson works with the physics of nature. The artist becomes a conduit for energy, engaging in a painterly process that involves intuition and an inner dynamic so contrary to the expressionist works Thompson produced earlier in her career. These paintings are anti-form and all about the physics of the moment that exists in many moments, in fact stands outside time. Therein lies the challenge and the invitation! We are not involved in recognizing anything when we look at a Heidi Thompson painting. We are receivers looking into a brilliant spectacle. A series of gestures leads to an event that the artist is part of. After priming the canvas, Thompson textures its surface with random clumps and splatters of gesso and sand. After this dries, she seals the porous, rough surface with another coat of primer. The process is ongoing and all about revealing what is already there. The combinatory ways that paint and matter come together become the artist’s guide. Neither dominating, nor controlling the outcome of a composition, Heidi Thompson is able to work with the medium of paint, deliberately flicking the material with a small fan brush in a controlled splattering thus orchestrating the colour, light and surface vibration. Chaos and a conscious control exist in tandem. The artist becomes the balance between spirit and matter. It is magic how a painting comes about. The canvas becomes a receiver that accepts the artist’s intervention, and the artist distill the effects as they build up, occasionally removing paint, or orchestrating the event and actions. The ultimate feeling these paintings conjure up is akin to sound, or atmospheres with background radiance. Visually we feel the painter’s controlled actions, but as an event that is not frozen in time as if caught in the parentheses of intention. Instead, the action suggests continual and conscious mutability of the medium with change ever present and this unknown quantity - energy. These paintings have depths and as we observe the microcosmic details close-up we sense a distancing, and close-up could be far away. Ultimately there is no distance, and microcosmic could as readily be macrocosmic. As “abstract” art, if ever the term had a precise meaning as all paintings occupy real space and time, Heidi Thompson’s p closer to Mark Tobey, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Indian-born Natvar Bhavsar for her recent paintings have radiance, and are part of a fluid reading of reality. Thompson does not perceive art as a building process whereby th becomes a contained and containable result of actions. Depending on her state of mind, Thompson will chose one of several painting techniques and approaches. Her recent work usually is about constructing--to build up of layers of fine lines so they become a consummate map of multiple actions we read depths into. The process of creating and building up results in a delicate interweave, a field of coloured lines that cover the canvas in a very conscious and deliberate way. Every speck, every dot, or splatter seems to be carefully examined, felt, and applied. The painting ultimately manifests and resonates intuitively with an unconscious dimensionality. Particle physics comes to mind when looking at each of these paintings, for they engage in a dialogue of form and content. There is no labeling or identification with conventional representation, nor is the shaping, or containment of form part of the language of Thompson’s art. Superficially they can be compared to