Gav Toye Artwork

1. I have found that writing a single statement about my work problematic as it tends to close down my investigations. There is possibly no central text, rather multiple texts. This allows movement in my critical thinking. Paradoxically this statement could operate as a central text.

2. Painting is central to my practice. I once rejected representation wholeheartedly in the search for what a painting was, primarily, rather than just a vehicle for an image. I came to abstraction. Flatness, etc. I revelled in it because a mark was a mark, paint was paint. A painting was a thing, hooray!! I found my home. But now I am returning from that place, knowing that a painting can only ever be a painting. But it can be more than the sum of its parts. After all, language has a form but that form is used to communicate abstract concepts that have meaning.

3. Myth. The previous statement refers to the myth of the heros journey popularised by Joseph Campbell: his mono-myth which is staple post-Frazer structural anthropology. Yes, I am interested in myth but hesitant to mythologise myth (!), which I believe we are in danger of being too ready to do. My approach is always dialectic. Myth is loose. Myth is not carved in stone from ancient times but myth is what we speak now, today. On the Campbellian Heros journey myth: I went there (we all did). Something happened (we fell in love). We felt alive. We began our journey home. Something changed. We died.