Elliot Collins

Untitled (Giving Thanks), 21 July - 15 August 2009
In a painting on which he inscribed 'Here I give thanks to Mondrian', Colin McCahon paid homage, in 1961, to an artist who set his practice in a new direction.

Extending the notion of giving thanks, this body of work acts as a reminder for me to be thankful for the people, objects, animals and thoughts that have influenced my practice. By the almost chant-like repetition of "Here I give thanks" I hope to create a kind of horizontal hierarchy - one where the mundane and the sublime are seen with equal amounts of appreciation and gratitude, and where viewers might also recognise something of their own experience.

These paintings are small notations rather than commanding statements - aides-memoire rather than universal truths. They are observations made over a four-year period, and reminders to be thankful not only for "the morning, who arrives exactly when it is needed the most", but also for the overlooked and taken-for-granted things we see as our birthright. Like sunsets, or the sound of children's laughter.

As well as my own writing I have referenced the work of Julian Dashper, Bob Dylan, Dave Eggers, Colin McCahon and Hone Tuwhare.

Elliot Collins
Auckland, July 2009


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