“I have heard this music before
saith the body.”
— Mary Oliver, At the Edge of the Ocean
Landscapes of the Heart draws on, and extends further upon the artist’s persistent readings of distorted temporalities and remembered elusiveness. There is always a breathing, living quality to Greathead’s colours and swelling forms. Their rhythms of breath imbricate within the works a feeling of containment, of softness and safety.
Landscapes of the Heart comprises of transitional objects, within the context of spaces and relationships that bring comfort. The objects feel familiar, and yet, there is a tactile unfamiliarity contained within them. Traversing within Greathead’s imaginings, these spaces become transitional objects themselves, a vessel through which a relationship with an object, space and time can at once develop, strengthen and blossom.
The paintings speak of the Greathead’s dream, in a quiet mansion with many large doors, but no one was around. Right outside the window was a thorny rose garden. To open the doors is to elude them, as they would close, unfinished roses brimming from the corners as they disappear into the walls. Landscapes of the Heart takes form in the aftermath of this dream.
Green fires, doll houses, marigold plants, seahorses ceaselessly imbricate oceanic landscapes, offices, and tennis courts. These are not just subjects to be found and studied within a dream or a painting, but they are implicated with an existing harmony that cannot be possessed or intruded upon. They are rough and vicious, other times, calm and pink, skewed but never detached. There is a wondrously changing quality to Greathead’s paintings, yet at the same time, they evoke stillness — the agony of unwitnessed grief through the sounds of crushed glass, the scent of roses and the memory of a man falling out the window.
Thu Tran, 2023