M I K E G O U G H
CERTAINTY OF TIDES
How do we discern memory from fact? How can we translate the past without obscuring the truth? These questions have always been at the forefront of my practice. My interest in memory based or experience based painting began nearly 10 years ago as an act of preservation. Deeply concerned with the volatile and elusive quality of memory I had hoped to record my life in a way that reflected the true experience – an impossible undertaking.
Digging deep into my past, the earliest of these paintings told stories of my childhood – fishing trips with my father, beach fires at the cabin and evenings spent playing in the backyard - fond memories of my upbringing in Newfoundland. However, with the passage of time, details are lost, people forgotten and we are left to fill in the blanks.
In deciphering facts and feelings my painterly descriptions of the ‘truth’ become a blend of reality and idealism. The experience becomes dislocated, but what remains constant is the seemingly never changing landscape.
Certainty of Tides presents a collection of work that was created out of acceptance - acceptance that our memories are not permanent. The narratives within the show are those of love, distance and adaption to change. Images of figures coupled and alone tell the tales of longing and of togetherness. Each piece is directly informed by a personal history, yet I hope it demonstrates a universal idea of what it means to reflect on one’s past.