‘Through the activities of walking and looking Tynan identifies alternative landmarks in the city, places to rest the eyes that give rise to contemplation. She observes and informally records visual quirks in her surroundings and such vagaries are later bestowed with temporal emphasis through the medium of paint. In the cracks of a pebble dashed wall and across a layer of uneven plaster, real world surfaces and textures appear elevated through keen observation. She focuses on time-ravaged parts of the city that maintain a patina of the past through neglect. Slogans and symbols scrawled or sprayed across gable ends, crows looking on, trinkets in a stranger’s porch; all distract from the path ahead. She transforms the world into signs and symbols in the search for pattern and meaning. Intricate meshing of woolen yarn forms a pattern that draws the eye downwards into a stare, a puddle in the footpath interrupts the Moroccan motif and in its reflection spring buds sprout from bare branches.
In Italo Calvino’s 1985 novel, Mr Palomar, the eponymous protagonist wanders, giving thought to details in his surroundings. Calvino, via Mr Palomar, suggests that this tendency evolves from a psychological urge to make meaning. Everywhere there is the potential for philosophising and Mr Palomar appropriates the most mundane aspects of his daily routine to pose questions on the nature of being. In his musings on a rooftop terrace he considers the aspect from which birds view the ground, noting how unforeseen fragments and wholes that can be observed from above ‘It is only after you have come to know the surface of things,’ he says out loud, ‘that you venture to seek what is underneath’ then he adds ‘but the surface is inexhaustible’. Similarly Tynan responds to the possibilities of the surface texture of paint, its ability to mimic real-world surfaces. Like Mr Palomar, Tynan looks for clues in unlikely places – the most trivial encounter has the potential to announce the most profound epiphany’.
Extracted from Within and Without by Ingrid Lyons
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