Suzo Hickey


nothing keeps the same unchanging shape

House on the Edge of the Park

,   2010,   acrylic on canvas,   26" x 32"

. private collection


In Nothing keeps the same unchanging shape I continue the exploration of my urban surroundings. In many ways, this work is an homage to my own cultural history, recognizing my antecedents as a Canadian painter, experiencing the joy of manipulating paint in this landscape.

Following years of constructing shows that embrace verbal meaning (Mirificus, You Fucking Fruit, Let Me Go Down in the Mud), I am interrogating the formal, non-verbal, enigmatic power of the object. I started by stripping away preconceived meaning and just painting what was around me: the mid century box houses of East Vancouver against the colourless skies of winter. But meaning seeps in: plain houses, common as dirt, take on a monumental, threatening grandeur. In the end, this is everyday life writ large in all its mystery and danger. The images are fraught with the tension of reflective blank spaces, houses with no interior access, lines in the sky, and leafless trees.

In living with the growth of these pieces, I have learned to see in new ways. Sometimes it has been like seeing for the first time. Step up on the curb and I change the view to see the top of a tree next to the chimney. Move to the left and I see power poles in an endless line, while behind me mountains loom over a flat roofed home. I wait 10 minutes in the evening for the transformative effect of the setting sun on the surface of a wall. I have begun to see that nothing keeps the same unchanging shape.

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