'A Party Hat for St. Denis' - Dr. Matthew Jackson (Gallery A)

A party hat for Saint Denis.

An artist could be seen as a visual repository of experience. The longer I live, the deeper and muddier the experiential waters I wade in become. There is a blending of childhood influence and half remembered literary tales, poems and imagery. 

In general I have a vague awareness that the memories of my past are a pastiche or palimpsest, rather than an act of actual objective remembering. Creating physical images that reference this anachronistic and apocryphal misuse of memory and fiction, necessarily clarifies the fatuous nature of the act of remembering. 

The paintings that are born from this act are flawed, even in conception. They serve no purpose other than illustrating the melange of previously passively accepted understanding of ‘self’. An identity formed through the barely aware consumption of daily life, movies, recreational and pharmaceutical drug dreams, books, fairy tales, art, music, poetry and the striding/wading/stumbling gait of an artist trying to navigate contemporary life.

The title of this series of work speaks to this weirdly redundant endeavour. Saint Denis, famously beheaded before being beatified, is often depicted as a saint with his detached head carried in his own hands. Suggesting a party hat for Saint Denis is both inciting a sense of ridiculousness, but at the same time posing the question; why should such tragic figures not be celebrated?


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