Figures and Grounds II, 2009 (excerpt)
Running time: 5:31 minutes / HD / colour

The transformation of the human gesture is explored through the process of painting and the use of earth and oil as foundational materials.

Painting: Sylvia Safdie
Camera: Sylvia Safdie
Editing: Patrick Andrew Boivin, Brigitte Dajczer, Sylvia Safdie
Audio: Silent

In 1996, using earth and oil as my medium for my drawing and painting, I became intrigued by the fact that the slightest smudge can transform and reshape the figure. The process fascinated me. Once I started using the video camera I was able to record the process of transition and transformation. In this video series figures “drawn” out of earth and oil transform, merge, fade and emerge.

We are in constant motion. Within seconds the gestures we make disappear and evaporate. Movement is life; life is movement. Our gestures in the present are connected to the past and to the future. They are our lifelines.