American expat assemblage artist, sculptor and metalsmith, Michael Parkin has recently turned his attention to paintings with a three dimensional touch.
Having hitchhiked across Canada together, he and his wife chose Ottawa as the place to raise their family. Once settled in Ottawa Michael spent some years working at stone and bronze sculpture. After a few more years serving as Director of Research for the Ottawa Board of Education, he returned to full time art, making sculptural assemblages and intricate sculpture boxes somewhat reminiscent of Joseph Cornell.
In mid 2005 Parkin took up painting. His painted works involve an extremely limited formal vocabulary using only straight lines, right angles and circle segments arranged three dimensionally. Strong colour, suggestions of human form and an occasional object such as a stone, harking back to his assemblages, augment the dynamism and rhythm of the arrangements. Michael is also currently producing a line dynamic silver and gold jewelry using these same forms and the textural properties of the metal.
Doublethink, in the Orwellean sense has become the defining characteristic of out time. We run ever faster trying to stay where we are and we are obsessed with newness that provides us with the feeling that we are progressing. At the same time we have the creeping realization that our way of life stands at the edge of the abyss. In these paintings I have generally tried to use bright colour and simple form to create a comfortable and positive tone but the scale of the paintings relative to the small suggested forms creates a sense of isolation and overwhelmed humanity.