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Posted on June 21, 2016
We live like this
"... Traditionally, painting has been thought of as a window into another world, only broken through the modernist era when the objecthood of a painting was emphasised. Rook is very much aware of this lineage and has found ways of implying space, and yet, strategically disrupting parts of the surface to remind the viewer of the artifice of his constructs. Thus, metaphorically, the painting’s come across in equal measures as both idealistic and realistic. Their instinctive honesty is always undercut by a knowing awareness of the contemporary environment of their making. Just when we start to believe in an image, and its earnest symbolism, Rook’s painting processes bring us back to the ‘here’ and ‘now’ of the room in which we stand and the physicality of paint on canvas. This disruption of surface causes us to slow down our viewing engagement, to look and look again in a search for answers to our own anxieties and beliefs...
... Rook embraces the tradition of metaphorical painting, feeling liberated to explore and quote filmic and art historical reference points through the filter of his geographically specific imagery. He utilises the potent symbolic nature of the source material as a way to open up a conversation into our current anthropological position and beliefs. Sourced from TV and film, it is not difficult to start seeing common ground with the techniques of film narration, and with the cinematographer’s wide screen..."