Organic Mechanic


Organic Mechanic

Paul Darragh

Opening: October 14 5:30 pm

Viewing: October 14 until October 24

These paintings explore the machine as an abstract metaphor for human functions, the global economy and the COVID19 virus as an entity

This exhibition has its formative roots in the nationwide lock down of April 2020 with the first four paintings created during this period. These images explore the machine as an abstract metaphor for human functions, the global economy and the COVID19 virus as an entity. How the global pandemic closed, and has opened, many facets of society. A combination of mechanical, organic and digital functions in a stop/start flux. Furthermore, the paintings started to explore the virus as the machine, intending to portray an unstoppable force that expands, penetrates and replicates within itself and the human body.

The paintings use a toolbox of pure abstraction. Shape and pattern form the basis for each composition. These visual icons are common within my work, especially the mouse hole/arch shape, initially inspired by Giorgio de Chirico’s architectural paintings and Chuck Jones Warner Brothers illustration. This arch shape becomes a portal for entry and exit into an infinite black space of uncertainty. Each painting portrays a mechanical process with a strong sense of motion and tension. Viral pistons and cogs power the engine with an intended purpose to drive a contagious machine forward.

The shapes are mechanical yet have an organic nuance. Each composition provides the viewer with a cropped vignette of abstract detail from a giant machine. A cause and effect reaction is in the works. Cogs are turning, radar is blipping and levers are pulling. These images are a blending of analog, mechanical and digital ideas, in concept and creation.

Depth perception within the picture plane is manipulated to defy logic. This incoherent rendering adds to the confusion one feels when gripped by the virus, combined with warped linear patterns that convey a trippy fever dream. Repetition is used to add to this fever dream aesthetic and also create a sense of viral multiplicity. The colour palette combines hospital-scrub pastels with neon green and purple germ tones. This results in an unnerving palette that feels highly contagious. There is a sanitized brand feeling to the colours. These compositions could also resemble a magnified petri-dish of germs. Colour combinations are used to create a dynamic vibrancy between colour pairings. Airbrush shading is used to evoke a spiritual representation to the work, and to manifest a faux-digital reference. This is a clouded energy forming in sharp compositions, also symbolizing a puff of smoke from a machine.

{Gallery 1}

Space Studio & Gallery

18 Saint Hill Street