Cluster headaches begin suddenly and without warning. The pain is very severe and is often described as a sharp, burning or piercing sensation on one side of the head. The pain is typically felt around the eye, temple and sometimes face, and typically recurs on the same side for each attack.
Often people feel restless and agitated during an attack because the pain is so intense, and may react by rocking, pacing or banging their head against the wall.
Here is a body of work created from my experience during a bout of cluster headaches. Colours, Hues, Techniques and tools were analysed and combined to create compositions that reflect the different stages of pain and emotions that I feel during an episode one of these headaches.
What Is Drawing? Marbling
What can drawing be?
If drawing is making a mark on a surface, Where is drawing made in marbling? When the ink makes contact with the size, when the ink makes contact with the paper.
The drawing can be made with the chemical reaction and at the same time by my own manipulation, seemingly free from control yet bound by it.
What Is Drawing? Fire
What Is Drawing? Light
Art At St. Martins
Review By Gordon Balkan
Any gallery setting present specific challenges to the artist when displaying their work, from light to floor space, but there are few which are so compelling in of themselves, which are so insistent in demanding that the artwork on display play to their unique qualities than St.Martin's church in West Stockwell Street.
This deconsecrated medieval church groans with local history; some of the material used in its construction was sourced from the Roman wall which still encircles the town centre. It is, in itself, a sermon about architecture and craft, religious fervour and lethargy, purpose and purposelessness. There are two kinds of work which can stand up, even thrive in this kind of setting and we get both in the aptly named "Art at St. Martin's"
Thomas Dilloway's work belongs to the second group, that of challenging the space head-on with a brilliant array of strong contrasts, of colour, texture, light and theme. The palimpsest of the walls of the north aisle, studded with plaques and fragments of original painting, becomes the backdrop to a haphazard collection of works celebrating the powerful potential for creation that arises from fully embracing the kitsch aesthetic. His marbled canvases, some of which have been perverted by a gruesome black, are everything that the church can never be: fluid, frivolous and self-referential. Unlike Machin, whose works act somewhat as conceptual tuning forks by resonating with and consequently amplifying the quieter whisperings of the space (notice the lick of ultramarine on the archway of the porch), Dilloway puts forward an idea with immaculate craftsmanship and poise, then listens to see what happens. His work is a shout in the quiet space, a calling out of the de-consecrated church to respond to and, in a way, justify the showy plasticity of mass-culture.
In Dilloway's work, the narratives are more expansive; an enlightened bowling pin sits proudly on its plinth, crowned in a halo of a lampshade alongside a glowing wall-mounted plastic rocking horse. The reason these works function so effectively is that the church, along with its original function as a holy site, has been stripped of any accompanying sense of theatre; in this place void of narrative, materials sing their histories.
Materials speak in processes, something Dilloway is clearly, acutely aware of. Andy Warhol, one of the original exponents of mass-culture in the visual arts, is quoted as having said, "If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There's nothing behind it." It is in Warhol's surfaces that we find some of his most important contributions, whether in his valuable yet worthless diamond-dust or in the way he superseded the dot-pattern of the screen printing process with the tooth of drawing paper in his 'Ads and Illustrations' series, thus further blurring the lines between printing, painting, drawing and all their relative values. Likewise, it is in Dilloway's surfaces that we begin to understand some of the subtle concepts behind the glossy, golden facade. Take his bears, for example. Cast in plaster using a found, vacuum-formed plastic mould (originally from giant-size gummy bear packaging), each ofDilloway's army of bears was born and nurtured, variously primed, unprimed, sealed, not sealed. Carrying through the theatrical theme, some are so deliciously warm and rich they speak of a vermilion prime (or bole) underneath the gold spray-paint whilst the matt finish of others tell of raw plaster underneath. There is craft in the kitsch, uniqueness in mass-production, he argues.
The process of resuscitating of objects on the brink of death i.e. those in the skip or at the dump, by giving them new functions would, on the face of it sits Dilloway's work within the growing realm of 'up-cycling' or "Reusing (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original." However, I don't think he is doing that. Certainly, he isn't recycling by breaking objects into their constituent materials for reuse, nor is he reusing because, as part of his installations, the objects no longer carry out the same functions they once had. Instead, he subverts expectations of function: the bowling pin with its intentionally high centre of gravity makes for an unstable lamp, the original bonnet of a VW Beatle, designed to mask the engine bay, tantalises with half-glimpses of the glow it conceals through the vents whilst the flamingo bulb, pushed above the hips of a mannequin, only illuminates itself. Dilloway reuses in such a way as to create a product of intentionally lower practical quality than the original to subvert expectations of the viability of the solutions implicit in mass-production.