In•eff•a•ble /ɪnˈɛfəbəl/ — too extreme to be expressed in words; that which must not be uttered
Peter Crout is a cognitive science student at UBC, where his studies have led him to an interest in mental illness and anxiety. The paintings featured here were made during a period in which he was extremely interested in combining literal depictions of the human body with raw, expressive brushwork. As he describes, "they are pictures of what we as animals might look like without our 'bodies,' or, they are representation of how all of us might feel from time to time."
These paintings have been featured on a mental illness support website and a show at the student union gallery at UBC. Peter has also taken some photographs of rural China that have been featured in L'Ecureuil Mort, a recently-started art and photography website based in Montreal.
ineffable asked Peter the following questions about his work:
1. How do you create your pieces? In what medium, and what do you draw on for inspiration?
I make images using oil and acrylic paint, sometimes throwing in spray paint and oil sticks. The process varies with each session, depending on my mood and energy. There are times when I work slowly, trying to be careful and calculated, and other times when my brushwork is loose, fast, and aggressive. I think this gives my work an interesting and unnerving harmony between the calm and the chaotic aspects of abstract painting.
2. Your paintings are very visceral — I see blood, chaos, and even some erotic imagery, but they are beautiful and meditative as well. Can you tell me a bit about the energies and emotions you seek to give voice to in your work?
I think the work is a representation of recurring human feelings (anxiety, confusion, loneliness), done in a visceral and isolated way. Sometimes I work from pictures of people, and that gives my work a more figurative or literal feeling, as you can see in painting. I usually work without reference material, and that tends to produce a more frightening and confused painting.
3. What do you hope people will take from your paintings?
I’m not sure about what I hope people will take from these paintings. It would be nice to move them a little bit, or to be a source of consolation if they empathize with the emotions and feelings represented in the works.
You can see more of Peter's work on his website www.petercrout.com.
Images © Peter Crout, reproduced with permission.