Monday, 19 January 2009

'Hundreds and Thousands' exhibition

In Noj Barker's first solo exhibition in October 2008, we saw an obsession and compulsion rendered in paint. First he lays down fields of coloured spots. Then he paints dots over those spots. And then - as if that wasn't painstaking enough, he paints miniscule spots on top of those dots - hundreds and thousands of them. Countless hours later, a painting is born, and a hallucinogenic matrix of chroma and pattern is revealed. Some are quite and restrained: almost sonata-like in form. Others blaze the retina with a symphony of jostling colour. Looking at Noj's paintings, it is easy to hear music.
These paintings do not use illusionistic techniques to create spatial depth. Instead our eyes are invited to navigate a web of spots, dots and rivulets of coloured grounds. Blink and they are replaced by vial constellations. These paintings mimic the act of stargazing - only in miniature. They are for stargazers who want a little glimpse of heaven on their living room walls. For Noj these paintings offer a visual sanctuary, each one a location for hope, contemplation and wonder.