Paul Robert Turner Artist statement - A Measurable But Limited Duration / A Fleeting Glimpse
A Measurable But Limited Duration is the title series from a solo exhibition of paintings discussing impermanence and vulnerability. The two separate series contained in this show were parallel in concept. The conceptual origin of this exhibition is intrinsic to the Don’t Panic series begun in 2005. In this series, passers by hover above an unknown and disconcerting event. An unclear narrative is implied allowing the viewer to complete the events leading up to, and following the moment depicted. Placed before the painting, resolving the narrative, the viewer then becomes the subject.
Upon further exploration of these themes of vulnerability I began searching for symbols of mortality, which led me to a series of paintings entitled “A Fleeting Glimpse”. In graphic art the image of an “x” in place of the eyes has long been a symbol of a character’s death. I have appropriated this symbol not as a direct interpretation of someone who is dead or dying but more so as a reference to a subtle awareness, an ever-present feeling repeatedly evolving to a brief moment of realization. The portraits are over sized, the colour exaggerated to instantly overwhelm the viewer with something so familiar yet so unsettling, a fusion of comfort and beauty, displacement and anxiety.
The diversity of the models is to parallel the endless variations of beliefs concerning life after death. I feel that within that difference there is a similarity in the origins of those beliefs. They come from the same place inside; the same need to see beyond this existence. To know there is more, and to fear there is not.
-Paul Robert Turner