evolve 2001

a short piece written about the exhibition called ‘evolve’ held in 2001

When is a house not a house? When is a son not a son? And when is a wife not a wife?
Jonathan Kearney was born in a convent in Liverpool in 1971. He is an artist born in Liverpool in 1971. He is a husband. Stop. Go back. Look again.
Jonathan Kearney works as an artist and lives in a three bedroom house in Peckham, South-East London with his wife, Cathy and their three sons, Joshua (7), Joel (4), and Benjamin (3). But one of the bedrooms is a workspace, and for the past few weeks, the house has been home to bags of PVA glue mixed with coloured paint, slowly dripping, the dining room has doubled as an artists studio, and the family have eaten in the lounge.
So, how do you feel when your house evolves into a studio? ‘You just have to laugh about it,’ says Cathy. ‘I don’t notice it now. The other day, I was helping some people move some stuff. When I opened the boot, there was a road sign in there. They asked what it was doing there, and I said I thought everyone had a road sign in their boot.’
An easy philosophical mistake to make is that determinism – the belief that we have no choice and that all events are predestined by fate – is free will. In fact, the opposite of determinism is chaos. Free will is the space in between.
It is the place where we jostle for position, like the colours on these canvases fight for their own space, between that which we cannot control, those things that are bigger than us – God, the elements, our friends, lovers and children – and those things that we can control.
Jonathan Kearney is an expert on the drip rates of various materials.
‘I am starting to realise that the focus is on the dripping, not the patterns. To begin with, I never even noticed what happened after the drips hit the floor. I was interested in the downward flow.
‘The material is a particular brand of children’s washable PVA glue that I buy from an educational suppliers. I tried hundreds of different mixtures, before in the end, more out of frustration than anything, I used this stuff – we just happened to have some in the house that the boys use.
‘PVA glue will keep moving until it is totally dry. However slowly it will keep looking for more space until it cannot move anymore. The other thing I found interesting is that if you turn your back for five minutes, it changes. You might look at it, and think, ‘I don’t like that,’ and then you’ll come back to it and think, that’s great.’ Like children in fact.
“crown of beauty” is dominated by three blocks, each encroaching on one another’s space, each in turn encroaching on the blank canvas onto which they fell. The paint jostles for position, fighting its way across the canvas, pushing back the other colours, fighting for its own space,
like children forging their identities, breath by breath,
like a river eroding a mountain,
like carving your name into marble with your thumbnail.
When it is a home. When he is a work of art. And when she is a support.
This work is not about the outcome. It is about the process which informs the outcome.
It is about the source not the provision.
‘I’m all for people becoming the people that God wants them to be, rather than having to meet the expectations that other people put on them.’
John Donnelly October 2001

evolve
a short piece written about the exhibition called ‘evolve’ held in 2001
When is a house not a house? When is a son not a son? And when is a wife not a wife?
Jonathan Kearney was born in a convent in Liverpool in 1971. He is an artist born in Liverpool in 1971. He is a husband. Stop. Go back. Look again.
Jonathan Kearney works as an artist and lives in a three bedroom house in Peckham, South-East London with his wife, Cathy and their three sons, Joshua (7), Joel (4), and Benjamin (3). But one of the bedrooms is a workspace, and for the past few weeks, the house has been home to bags of PVA glue mixed with coloured paint, slowly dripping, the dining room has doubled as an artists studio, and the family have eaten in the lounge.
So, how do you feel when your house evolves into a studio? ‘You just have to laugh about it,’ says Cathy. ‘I don’t notice it now. The other day, I was helping some people move some stuff. When I opened the boot, there was a road sign in there. They asked what it was doing there, and I said I thought everyone had a road sign in their boot.’
An easy philosophical mistake to make is that determinism – the belief that we have no choice and that all events are predestined by fate – is free will. In fact, the opposite of determinism is chaos. Free will is the space in between.
It is the place where we jostle for position, like the colours on these canvases fight for their own space, between that which we cannot control, those things that are bigger than us – God, the elements, our friends, lovers and children – and those things that we can control.
Jonathan Kearney is an expert on the drip rates of various materials.
‘I am starting to realise that the focus is on the dripping, not the patterns. To begin with, I never even noticed what happened after the drips hit the floor. I was interested in the downward flow.
‘The material is a particular brand of children’s washable PVA glue that I buy from an educational suppliers. I tried hundreds of different mixtures, before in the end, more out of frustration than anything, I used this stuff – we just happened to have some in the house that the boys use.
‘PVA glue will keep moving until it is totally dry. However slowly it will keep looking for more space until it cannot move anymore. The other thing I found interesting is that if you turn your back for five minutes, it changes. You might look at it, and think, ‘I don’t like that,’ and then you’ll come back to it and think, that’s great.’ Like children in fact.
“crown of beauty” is dominated by three blocks, each encroaching on one another’s space, each in turn encroaching on the blank canvas onto which they fell. The paint jostles for position, fighting its way across the canvas, pushing back the other colours, fighting for its own space,
like children forging their identities, breath by breath,
like a river eroding a mountain,
like carving your name into marble with your thumbnail.
When it is a home. When he is a work of art. And when she is a support.
This work is not about the outcome. It is about the process which informs the outcome.
It is about the source not the provision.
‘I’m all for people becoming the people that God wants them to be, rather than having to meet the expectations that other people put on them.’
John Donnelly October 2001

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