• Chrissie Calvert

Process, Ideas and Field of Inquiry

I've been thinking about what drives me to create. We had a lecture in the recent seminar about practice statements and how to break down what an art practice actually is. The four components of an art practice are:

  • Process

  • Ideas

  • Field of Inquiry

  • Questions

Today I will be breaking down the first three to begin to understand what exactly I do and why.


Preparing a painting surface is important to me. I think the surface of a painting can add so much to the read. In a way, I find the smoothness of canvass and flat primed MDF almost less exciting compared with a weird, rough surface. Because of this preference, my practice often involves hessian. Although I have recently begun working with coconut fibre mat, which is extremely loosely bound and fibrous. The challenge, the fun part, is making that surface paintable. I tend to use everyday DIY materials to create, (such as PVA, Varnish and clear coating for concrete), using those materials forces me to think outside the box and usually ends with happy surprises. Once the surface is prepared, I use paint-like DIY materials such as wood-stain to paint with. The compatibility of surface and stain often guides the shapes and and layout of the painting in partnership with the ideas I have and my imagination.


At the moment there are a a handful of conceptual ideas which guide the images and style of art I create.

  • Hyperobjects, specifically those which are of human causality

  • The idea of the Anthropocene

  • The human centric notion of the apocalypse

  • Issues that come of the human condition

All of those points guide the making process in my practice. Currently the fusion of natural material and plastic-like material, (varnish and glue), is a play around the 'natural' and 'man-made', and their influence on one another. The motif of trees and figures is also a play on humanities relationship with our surroundings. Thinking about a human centric apocalypse, for my next painting I imagine a landscape of lush tree and construction cranes. In these kinds of ways, my readings and thoughts around these subjects influence the outcomes of the work.

Field of Inquiry

Here are my fields of inquiry at the moment:

  • Pushing the boundaries of painting

  • Painting as an object

  • Process lead making

  • Hyperobjects

  • Semiotics within motif

  • The idea of the 'Narrative', and its place in art

This is the beginning of myself teasing out what I am actually communicating when I create. Its easier to understand the work in retrospect I find, but, I want to be more conscious in the now of making why it is I am making. This is a goal.

Below are some images of the coconut mat I've been working with.


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