One balmy summer evening two years ago, I attended a lecture by theoretical physicist, Brian Green in my little town of Andes, New York. I was so inspired by his talk, that for months after, I read dozens of books from the library – mainly about natural physics. The only way I could pretend to understand these books was to take notes as I read, which eventually lead to sketches and diagrams, which finally brought me to photographs of the particle trails in bubble chambers. After about 5 months of “research”, it was time to paint.
The process of drawing and painting these “perfect” spirals and swirls from the photographs was different than anything I had ever pursued in my artwork. I loved the sophisticated, simple playfulness of lines depicting charges, energies, speeds, mass and so much more. I also love that these are paintings, drawings which depict a very 3-D sculptural space. They are paintings of very specific energies; paintings of collision-created trails called “events”. The creative process for this series is one of simultaneous control and expansion where each canvas searches for its own form and movement.
There is something so pure and primal and universal about the movement of the trails and swirls and dancing lines against the black, which exist for less than a breath of time before they disappear. Their dignity and great sense of chaotic balance appeals to me as I proceed to prime all my canvases in the densest black I could find; “Cold Black” which is actually a very dark blue. It is the black of the blackboard and the black of the universe. It is a silent, alluring black that absorbs me as I work. Once the paint is dry, armed with a piece of chalk and photographs of tracks from Brookhaven National Laboratories as a reference point, I begin my search for the energy and dance of the colliding, spiraling lines until my aesthetic vision and the photographed image are in dialogue; neither too fast nor too slow, until the point is made.
The process repeats as layers of black against layers of white perfect each other until there is a complete unity of surface between the black and the white painted forms. Each painting tells a different story.
Roshan has been exhibiting her work for over two decades both in the US and Europe. Among other honors, she is a 2005 recipient of the NY State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant and in 2006 her work was included in the exhibition “21st Century American Women Artists” at the US Mission to NATO in Belgium. Visit RoshanHoushmand.com