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Artist's Statement

From Nicole Duet:

“An observer wishing for evidence that the sky is blue need only look at the sky.”


I paint as a way of sustaining a deeper engagement with living and of being present with greater awareness. Recent circumstances have radically shifted the way that I work and the way I see the world. The pandemic and quarantine have made me reconsider and question what is essential in my life. Any major change in circumstances can bring about new awareness, and within recent limitations I am finding a new appreciation of the simplest things including a renewed connection with nature, and a heightened sense of my immediate surroundings. Perception and the way it is shaped by circumstances has become a central focus in my work.

I usually work from direct observation from late afternoon to early evening. I use both natural and artificial light sources, and there is often evidence of both in my paintings. The multiple light sources at play in my work can be seen as a metaphor for a lack of any singular reality, and for the fluid nature of personal experience. As the painting develops it requires that I adapt in real time to changing light and it is this experience that I am recording. I am perhaps more interested in the effect of this inconsistent light than I am in the objects. The process of painting is one that seems to require both leading and following at the same time.

There is something immensely human about the need for tangibility in the presence of what is fluid and sometimes intangible. It is elusive and so dependent on perception. Something might have been there all along, and yet we don't see it. When we notice what we notice our focus is drawn to a still point, and the experience of time, the experience of what is before us shifts somehow. That shift allows us to experience the freedom of presence, even if only for a moment.

Painting slows time. It is one way of seeking connections. There are myriad mysterious connections between sight, experience, and understanding. Paintings can offer viewer and maker alike an opportunity to look deeply into liminal moments. Making this work my way of questioning the nature of experience, the reliability of perception, and the uncertainty of being.


Artist Talk