paintings are made blind, by not looking directly at the canvas
but retaining instead a visual awareness of the image to be painted.
This process leaves a space for play and reinvention to superimpose
itself upon the picture, like some weird poltergeist imprint. As
Adrian Searle, writing in The Guardian, recently pointed out only
mediocre painting never dares, or edits out its snarl-ups and chaotic
For Calland, creation and destruction are inextricably linked, her
trance-like process meditating on violent acts, the sacred and the
profane. She believes that it is important to enter the terror
and chaos of our own destructive impulses, in order to know our
full nature. The resulting blind images often appear partially
dismantled or in disarray, their lack of resolution a reality that
becomes part of the subject itself.
Ruth Calland is an artist and psychotherapist.