Eleanor Moreton paintings, paintings on card and watercolours

I SEE THE BONES IN THE RIVER

The series of paintings on card, The Hungry Ghosts, respond to contemporary magazine 'lifestyle' images. Painted in a direct way, deliberately undermining the cult of the good painting, painted on an abandoned and abject material, they respond to our own culture's hunger and excess, of which our desire for the perfect moment and the perfect lover form part. They are paintings in which being seen to live the dream has become the dream. The realm of the Hungry Ghosts is one of the six realms of existence in Buddhist cosmology. The Ghosts have huge hungry stomachs and thirsty mouths, but necks that are too thin to swallow.

The family paintings and domestic interiors, which draw on contemporary and historic sources, continue the theme that things we choose to present are often not as they appear, particularly in the terrifying domain of the home. In the case of Sisters, lost young women found safety in a surrogate family, the narcissistic bubble of the Manson cult, leaving behind a trail of euphoric family photos.

In a series of small portraits Looking for R, I am searching for her childhood imaginary friend in paintings which may have inspired his invention. The imaginary lost, rural past suggested by these paintings also features in my transcriptions of Edwardian rural photographs. They are inspired by a deep sense of loss which the I equate with the psychoanalytic idea of the Lost Object. Melanie Klein, the originator of Object Relations theory is represented in the show by a small portrait.

I often choose images of the pauses in people's lives where they present themselves for others, for history. The process of painting from these images gives a moment of stillness when I have the opportunity to go deeply into it. It can be a resting with that image, or it can be a teasing of it.

In this work I draw the two ideas - the Hungry Ghosts and the Lost Object - together. Both acknowledge and try to describe a sense of loss which drives us in acquisitiveness, addiction, deception, busyness and creativity. I see my own obsessive production of images as an attempt to restore my own Lost Object or feed my Hungry Ghost self.

The title comes from a line in the Gillian Welch song: Dark Turn of Mind


Eleanor Moreton 2012