Roadworks, Nick Dawes

Nick Dawes.
Roadworks, 2000
gloss household paint + acrylic on canvas
47 x 47 cm

Nick has employed a system of self imposed rules to navigate and structure the activity of making a painting. The idea originally was to set a limitation on choice, make as few decisions as possible and act upon only those that were absolutely necessary. 'I thought that if the construction of the work was about a denial of choice then what was left out was as important as what was left in. Choosing to ignore the endless variety of the colour chart, and remaining neutral and objective towards the subject, I decided to concentrate on familiar objects that would specifically delineate and control my decisions as a painter.' Nick discovered that by using ordinary traffic signs as visual object matter he could reduce painting down to its basic component parts. Limited by a set of standard lines shapes and colours, the paintings could generate themselves, the signs would dictate how the paintings would be made, what colours should be used, what kind of support they would need, and the material required to paint them.