Each person has their own relationship to their past.While I live, obviously, in the moment, I am always referencing past experiences, people and places. This to-and-fro referential whiplash is not some complicated psychological trauma. It is simply what it is. I learn from these pasts. I prefer to reference them as ghosts. While I know that this term has crazy baggage, it is just a referential attempt to describe the presence of influences that shape how I feel, think and react to what life throws at me.
I do not think this is unusual. In nearly every conversation I have, past references are used to establish a marker of commonality. Be it political, social or economical. When I meet architects we nearly always begin by talking about our past work experiences. In my case, it was Nick Grimshaw (London) and Shadrach Woods and Manfred Schiedhelm (Berlin) that were the strongest influencers. I still catch myself asking what would one of these important ghosts have done. How can I learn from what they taught me? In Nick’s case, he is a living and practicing architect so I have the benefit of revisiting him (and his equally influential wife Lavinia) whenever I am in London.
Now that I am in the final months of working as an architect and moving quickly to becoming a full-time painter, I am finding a stronger pull to a new set of ghosts from deeper in my personal history. It will be fun to see how these deeper connections influence my new painting. In the above painting, I was trying to find a way to visually reference these ghosts. This is, of course, not a literal but a figural representation of these important teachers from the past. We shall see where the journey leads. It will not be dull.