Combining methods of painting and printmaking, Aimée Parrott plays with pictorial depth by building up veil-like layers of colour that coalesce into amorphous forms. Describing how these pieces are made, Parrott writes: ‘the transfer of the pigment from screen to canvas creates a disjunction, a stutter between the original gesture and the surface on which it sits. Specifically, I want to create different spaces within the work; using raw or stained canvas holds the viewer on the surface of the piece, forcing them to consider the texture, the weave, whilst gestural marks push beyond the physical object into an illusory or imaginary space.’
Where the pigment is pushed through the screen, ghostly traces of the original squeegee marks remain floating on, and behind, the surface, serving to disrupt the original application of watercolour. Whilst strangely familiar, these amoeba-like shapes evade recognition by constantly shifting in and out of focus. Parrott’s mark making triggers deeper, sensory memories. Playing with our perception, her approach calls to mind the way in which we process external stimuli, both visual and physical, in order to understand the world around us. Treating the canvas surface like a layer of skin, the artist simulates how the world imprints itself on our bodies.
George Vasey, curator of Turner Prize 2017, writes: ‘Looking at Parrott’s recent paintings, I think about this impulse to think through the hands and feel through the eyes. To put herself up against the edges of things that surround her. Repeated elements suggest different temporalities frozen under permafrost, awaiting re-animation or reconstructive surgery. They feel like reveries or sideway glances, images bleached out by the unreliability of personal memory.’