"Rather than asking ‘What is this work about?’ the question is ‘What have I come to know about the world through making it?'"
Patricia Cain is a British artist, author and researcher based in Galloway, Scotland. She initially trained and worked as a lawyer before completing a practice-based PhD in drawing at Glasgow School of Art. Her interest in art and cognition provides the grounding for her work which is often quite intense yet varied, comprising of drawings and mixed media works, sculpture and public works of art.
Analysing the Artistic Experience
Cain looks for an engagement in art that is equally practical and theoretical. Resonating with concerns in science, she connects with the idea that the artist operates as an ecological self -referencing system of processes, where thinking occurs through the body and leads to continual transformation. Invariably, her work comes from a place where observation turns inwards. This might materially evolve in work that’s on the cusp of abstraction and figuration, using processes of intense scrutiny but where the dominant energy created by absence or negative spaces visually activates yet destabilises an artwork. The self-observational aspect of these processes often materially becomes part of the artwork through curation or the organisation of symposia. This allows her to contextualise understandings about thinking and making in deeper ways.