Statement of Work
Michael Crone - Artist Bio
Belfast - based artist working with whatever materials are available, predominantly paint, but also animation/motion, objects and installation.
The intent is to find a sense of truth through creative process. The work stands as a result of process and game, repeated and directed, rather than a pre-defined idea or concept. The role of the artist is collaborative, originator more than creator. The marks are essentially mistakes and in making a genuine mistake, we are honest.
The work interrogates any given subject, a glimpse, or thing of interest, a diary or story. It attempts to reveal what is not obvious and visual. The internal-external and in-between, origin and purpose, culture and environment, object and movement, time and energies/forces. Captured as geometry, codes, approximation, marks and objects, mistakes.
Ways of working
With painting and drawing I will attempt to represent a sense truth of a subject, representing through marks and paint, rather than attempt to recreate a vision or pre-conceived idea in a simulated rendering, which details how it looks, the environmental light etc. To me this is a more honest approach, I don't have a an idea when I start a piece of how it will look, just a reference be it sketch or photograph or memory, a base to build off.
The paintings can take months and years to "complete". I will build up layers of paint or marks referencing different points of interest coded as geometry, patterns, structure or marks. These can represent any aspect I feel pertinent - biological state, cultural influence, environment etc. All injected with the knowledge that as representations they are imperfect and thus mistakes with good intentions; but also mutated or warped as they come from me, and in that sense interpretative. The painting is a remnant of thought process and physical action. I will also work with series of works, maybe 15 pieces that are worked on in the same period, same state of mind (my), same mixes of paint and colour.
The difficulty with this is how to stop. With a process of near infinite interrogation at what stage can it finish? Who am I to say? I find it very difficult to "finish" a painting, a piece will reach a state of balance sometimes very quickly, so I feel I haven't given it due attention. But one mark further and it can over balances and the processes must continue until it reaches another nexus (possibly obliterating earlier input) when I as originator must decide whether to stop or continue. So if I'm being completely honest the paintings are never truly completed, just that they reach an imperfect state of balance, that in view of life outside that painting must stop to allow time for other subjects to be considered and other aspects of life.
Painting and drawing are the only media I have successfully managed to work in this way. An installation or piece of animation require by their architecture planning and more restrictive creation, or they just don't function. A canvas or piece of paper and impliment for mark making, by it's base simplicity lets me work in this way. I would like in the future to push the animation or digital interactive media to experiment with working in a similar way if I can create digital canvases that work in that way, but elements of time and sound will always force an element of compliance.
What's it about?
You can see here, I'm happy to discuss or reveal the way I work, my interests, issues and hopes. However I don't discuss the subjects, I don't say what a piece is about, what I'm thinking etc, I will only allude through the title.
I have always disliked discussing the meaning of a work from a child, it always felt like an interrogation of the validity of the picture. I used to do a performance piece in Art College during seminars and shows to avoid directly discussing individual pieces.
As discussed I am only the originator of the piece, the subject and process has as much voice and ownership as I, the work itself is the remnant of the process and should stand alone as such, only given a name.
I also don't want to influence the audience, to steal their own perspective, which is just as valid as I or any art expert. That would be restricting the potential of the work to the individual. The moment you view a work in person for the first time and the colours shapes and light imprint on your brain can be an incredibly powerful moment, potentially life-changing. I would hate to deprive the individual of that moment, and potential for exploration.
I believe art, as the most human activity and representation of thought and creation is universal. The view of a child is as valid as that of a Reader of Fine Art. In modern culture we are told what to believe about any subject by experts. While art has experts, I feel their role is to gather and discuss the wider view, not to tell an audience what it means. This for me is the reason, especially in this age, why art is so important, and why I will leave marks of colour on whatever media is available to be until I die, in the same way that early humans discovered formative abstraction as thought process.
Media and the environment
Materials and the Environment - Statement of intent
One role of the artist is to educate, inspire and to help the world we live in, through the materials we use to make. I believe in use and re-use as a way of effective reduction of waste, a kind of 'waste not - want not', we create toxic materials and non recyclable objects that are often obselete and discarded in a short period of time, I believe artists should utilise such materials where safe and possible.
The purpose for me is to re-use. To exhaust the potential of any given material or medium, otherwise beyond it’s primary use or component purpose. To give value to the discarded and to waste through making.
Education and Exhibitions
Education and Work
Michael Crone studied at the Ulster University at Belfast for BA Hons and Master of Fine Art. He has continued working in Belfast exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions. He has also worked for over 20 years as a graphic designer and illustrator, both freelance and agency.
'Arts Fest', Group Show, Arts for All exhibition space, March 2020.
'The Magnificent Chronospectroscopamatogram and other machinations for a brighter future', One man show, Engine Room Gallery, Belfast, Feb 2003
'Summer Exhibition', group show, Engine Room Gallery, Newtownards Road, Belfast, July 2002.
'MFA 2000-2001', final year masters of Fine Art show, Orpheus building, University of Ulster at Belfast, York Street, June 2001.
'Kokomo Manifesto', 2-man collaboration with Ricardo Climent. Collaborative event organised by Catalyst Arts. Featured as part of the Queens Sonorities Festival, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, May 2000.
'State of the Art 2000', Millennium Exhibition, Engine Room Gallery, Newtownards Road Belfast, January 2000.
End of year show, MFA student work, University of Ulster at Belfast, York Street, Belfast, June 2001.
'Presentation', Slideshow-performance, Lecture Theatre, University of Ulster, Belfast, November 1999.
East Belfast Arts Collective group show, Engine Room Gallery, Newtownards Road, Belfast, November 1998.
'Recent Work', 2 man Show with Sam Fleming, Engine Room Gallery, Newtownards Road, Belfast, May 1998.
'Painting and Household Objects (The Beautiful Junk Shop)', Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, September 1997.
'Stop-gap', 3 man show, Stop-gap gallery, Ross’s Court, Belfast, March 1994.