“…I didn’t know a reason for it, but I started to go out [to the rose garden that was in bloom] and I had the feeling, “These are ephemeral”. In two weeks, they’re gonna go. I’ll have nothing to draw. So, I started a water color. And, I’m drawing, I’m drawing…What happened is that I got involved in the recognition of the changing aspects of form and color within the life of the flower. I got involved in the cycle of life of the flower. I got involved in sequences of temporality and atmosphere.”
This painting of floral life cycle phases seems to read sequentially, left to right. The order apparently depicts the transitions from youth and beauty to death and putrefaction…The colors of the flowers seem to move from light hues to more intense hues and then to muted hues as the fields behind the flower subjects grow darker.
As one looks longer, one might notice that the concluding vase of flowers at the far right is painted in dark greys—yet the penultimate vase of flowers is even darker, painted in black, and so is more death-like in every regard. Even its field, painted in dense, dark blues, is heavier and moodier. But initially, one’s eye skips this phase and travels to the concluding dark grey arrangement due to its sharp contrast between its relatively brighter field (when compared to the penultimate arrangement’s darker field) and the dark grey vase of flowers that initially catches one’s attention. Ending a sequence with the concluding phase’s disjointed relationship between a dark grey subject and a brighter, more colorful field simultaneously appears to continue the sequential movement of time, yet also contradicts it as the picture “brightens up” at the ‘end’ compared to the penultimate arrangement’s dark hues and tones. Consequently, this makes the reading of this time sequence less overtly apparent than at first viewing.
Finally, one may notice that the relatively dulled hues of the flowers and grey tones of the vase on the left side of the painting bear a relationship to the coloration and tones of the concluding arrangement at the extreme right. The hues of flowers that follow the initial arrangement are comparatively more vibrant and the vases lighter: white or clear and filled with water. Does the work suggest a time ellipse and so imply a connection between its two sides? Might this treatment suggest a thematic relationship between “beginnings” and “ends” and between “life” and “death” ad infinitum?
These “biomorphic” sea rocks are seen at once together in a ‘crowd’ or ‘social unit and, yet, simultaneously, seem relegated to different and distinct time zones since many of the stones cast shadows in different directions, which suggests that the light source (sun?) is in a different position for each stone. Could the theme of this work be similar to the maxim of, “Alone in a crowd”, with all the connotations inherent in this phrase?
MULTIPLE TIME DIMENSIONS
“…I thought, initially, that I would actually stand in the place, make a drawing of a particular vista. But that never seemed to bring the reality of my experience as a convincing visual return to me because it brought me to the kind of nostalgia, a nostalgia that the way I was working at the drawing I couldn’t shed it from another time. And I began to realize that it was not a view that I was interested in, but a compilation that I was interested in.”
Brice’s awareness of the difference between his actual experience of a particular view and his sensed experience of a panorama and of a location, over some period of time, which might include his ‘internal’ feelings and reactions, seems to have led him to works that condensed fragmented quotes of his sense experience. Hence, his amalgams invariably deal with multi-time experiences and exist, essentially, in the mind. Is this why they appear to dispense with “real world” gravitational logic and with rational ground planes and horizon lines? And, why these pictorial elements might be quoted only as fragmented parts of his kaleidoscopic evocation of his experience.