The process of selecting
an image, usually an archival photograph found in an antique
shop, is almost as important to Ian Everard's work as the
final production. Everard is not an archivist, rather, as
with lightening to a lightening rod, Everard coaxes memory from
cultural artifacts. Searching through stacks of old photographs,
Everard waits for something to strike him, an expression, a
pose, an imperfection, some minutia. Using water colors Everard's
meticulous recreation of a photograph (or some other found
object) begins to reveal details, unearth the signatures
of memory buried within the object itself.
Everard unveils the 'truth'
behind his subject; in the most fundamental sense, what
is revealed is composition and form. The very process of
painting, of recreating the image, recalls earlier traditions
in visual culture, history painting in epic scale, such as by David,
or scenes common to our tradition, such as Christ being taken
down from the cross, martyrs, and heroes. There is further
the surplus meanings that again, through the process of
reproduction, reveal themselves. Whether he has left details
out, or rendered them precisely, Everard extricates the photograph
from the tradition of realism; documented history. In contrast
to the photographic medium, which crystallizes a particular
time, painting is laborious, a drawn out process; masses,
with Everard's attention, become a collection of individual
people. Under Everard's scrutiny the photograph is transformed.
The cold stoicism, the pure reportage that the photographic medium
is typically thought to deliver, opens up. While these images
might appear as some token of the past we soon discover that
it is not that the images haunt us, but that it is we who
haunt them. We project our anxieties, ambitions, our identity
on to these images of the past. Everard, however, by shattering
the icy exterior of the photograph, allows us to traverse
temporal continuity, collapsing time and space.
For more information
on this artist, please visit www.soa360.com/ianeverard/index.html.