SERIES


  The art theorist, Dore Ashton, has called the painting of pictures in series "Organic vision". I find this term particularly apt as over recent years my own work has very often 'evolved' as a continuum of variations on the same theme. Sometimes an idea, its motif, medium and application will run into as many as twenty or more works, which, while termed a 'series', remains for me, psychologically at least, one work in its entirety.  

    I am often surprised at the results of the inner urge that demands 'yet another' variation on my original expression. At the outset of a work I may feel that the painting will be conclusive in itself, but as it develops my deeper unconsciousness seems to be noting and filing away an inventory of  alternative potential conclusions which, if they are strong enough, will continue in further pictures until it (and I) are exhausted. I find that a series of works will often come all at once and any break in continuity of my concentration and application can prove disastrous.   

  When I am working this way it is as though each painting opens up a new vista; a further extension of feeling and mentality which is another compulsory step towards a greater conclusion. When considering this phenomenon I realize it to be an important aspect of my creative impulse and, while it is largely an unconscious force, its parallel with any structural growth in nature is obvious. I see this 'organic' force in art is another offshoot of the universal creative principle of nature and believe it to be a vital part of the 'creativity of nature' as well as the 'nature of creativity'.  

   In art, the greatest testimony to this 'organic' power of expression is music and I often tend to regard a completed series of my paintings as much a musical as a visual achievement. This sense of musicality is in the works continuity and 'sequential-through-time' element. Because of its 'variation on a theme' and the separation of its constitutional units, the work may often be related to on a temporal basis. Therefore, the viewer of such work receives a very different impression from the usual visual stimuli of a 'once only' all over effect. Perception becomes linear through the sequence of works and responses connect through temporal as well as spatial effects. I  believe that if strong continuity is maintained within the sequential diversity, then a higher level of communication will be established.

   The series, as a work method, brings with it the dilemma that while on one hand the continuity of the expression is important as a cohesive whole, on the other, one wants to believe that any individual work would prove strong enough to stand in its own right. When considering the series in its entirety, the order in which the works are numbered and placed for viewing is of paramount importance. A certain expression of either form, motif, colour or line may occur and, through the sequence, may visually enlarge or shrink, become emphasized or obscured, strengthen or weaken, balance or disturb, even disappear altogether, only to reappear when time and space is right. These are aspects of the deeper levels of creation and are born of  an unconscious and emotional necessity rather than any conscious or aesthetical theory.

   Sometimes, when viewing a completed series, it seems  that the order of creation may be improved by rearrangement. This happens when the works are spread out in the order of their creation and a more detached view of the whole is gained. What has seemed a natural development in the creation is not necessarily satisfactory in the final assessment of order. I regard this final urge to rearrange the works as a conclusion to the creative act as a whole. After all, throughout his historical rise as a force of intelligence and aesthetical judgement, man has, where possible, always rearranged the organic forces of nature to his own satisfaction.

                                                                                                       Morant