L a w r e n c e v a n
N i e k e r k
Painting to me has always had an internal justification - it is a
craft that both pushes you to go out and engage with the world
outside of yourself and gives you the space to reflect on that
experience. Portraiture is meaningful in that you engage directly
with other people and learn something of their lives and
circumstances. The process gives you the opportunity to reflect on
your own place in the world. The challenge is to distill that
interaction. I view the relationship between myself and the subject
as a very equal exchange and I attempt to honour that relationship by
documenting it with as much veracity as I can.
Paint can be a confoundingly difficult medium but it does have
incredible structural properties which allow the image to build up
gradually – the surface being informed by everything underneath it.
It is an intriquing medium, often elusive and unforgiving but also
capable of incredible subtlety and depth. For me, a person who lives
through my eyes, painting is a compelling way of seeing the outside
world. I am not interested in “self-expression” or the construction
of meaning, just looking and describing.
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© 2003 Michael Stevenson. All