Snakestones, 2018 - 19

Layered in flashing dripping color, these painted shapes alter their environments, existing as floating entities, flat and unmoving but vibrating in living and changing color.  At once foreign and familiar, the entities are made of the shadow of dozens of hands, overlapping and writhing, until the boundaries between each other disappear and only exist as a unified filter between themselves and their botanical environment.

The idea of a snakestone as treatment for a snakebite is historically found in many cultures around the world, but especially native to the witchdoctor traditions of Western Africa, southeast Asia, and South America. The snakestones act as a magnet for the venom and draw it out of the victim’s body and into the world around them.

 The patterns are appropriated and inspired by historical fabric and wallcovering design I see as redefining their creator’s relationship with nature, from wild, unpredictable, dangerous - to structured, repeatable, safe. It is over this well-worn history that these new Snakestone shapes appear and forge new paths to understanding our relationship with the idea of the natural.

Snakestones 1 (Wandering through bright Sun-lit Movements), 2018, acrylic on panel, 36 x 40 inches

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Snakestones 1 (Wandering through bright Sun-lit Movements), 2018, detail

Snakestones 2 (Grasping Growth and Decay), 2019, acrylic on panel, 32 x 36 inches

Snakestones 2 (Grasping Growth and Decay), 2019, detail

Thomas Flynn Artist

Snakestones 3 (Invisibly dance amongst the strung-out plants), 2019, acrylic on panel, 48 x 36 inches

Snakestones 3 (Invisibly dance amongst the strung-out plants), 2019, detail