Cave Panorama 2, 2012
Oil on canvas
Original size: 80 x 160 cm
Photographer: Mimei Thompson
In Mimei Thompson’s work there are recurring motifs of landscape, vegetation, human and animal forms, alongside non-representational paint marks. An ongoing theme of investigation is the idea that the natural always exists as a construct. There is an awareness of the impossibility of pure nature, coupled with a longing for it, and a desire, knowingly unattainable, for a direct connection to origin and authenticity.
The works are both process based and representational, figurative and abstract. Paint marks in the work are descriptive, but also function as illusory objects within the picture plane, with their own physicality remaining dominant.
In a recent series, the motif of the cave stands in (primarily) for the unconscious mind. The cave is a space that refers to the internal, the inside of the body, or to a place from which one could emerge changed, as an insect goes into a cocoon, becomes liquid, and re-forms itself. Figures and
creatures are suggested in protean rock formations, and Thompson is interested in the viewer being able to project onto these implied forms their own associations, as with Rorschach inkblot tests, or gazing at clouds. The vision is of a world in an unfixed, fluid state.
Thompson studied at Glasgow School of art and the Royal College of Art. She was selected for Jerwood Contemporary Painters, and her work was recently bought for the Arts Council Collection. She has recently had a solo show at Art First Projects, London.