In my artistic practice as a painter I deal with representations of exoticism and the way in which they both contest and affirm Western thought. The beach, for example, as a boundary between land and sea stands also for an infringement of boundaries and has become an important element in my recent work. In my paintings, the ‘Arcadian’ imagination of the beach becomes ambiguous. It references both a key site of modernity (the landing of the Spanish in America, for example), and a primordial untouched space. In this sense the beach in my work is simultaneously a place where new and/or foreign agents first appear and a place of constant renewal. The failure associated with the trope of the shipwreck, motive of a group of paintings, denotes the metaphorical return to a semantically uncertain field. Evoking both positive and negative associations, I view the beach as both origin and dramatic breakdown.
My work has been shown in solo exhibitions in the UK, Spain, Germany and Mexico, my research papers have been presented at international conferences (Mexico DF, Mexico (2008), University of Bern, Switzerland (2009), York St John’s University, UK (2009) amongst others) and I organized an international conference ‘Revisiting the Beach’ at Newcastle University in July 2009. I am co-editor of the special issue of the Journal Visual Art Practice (Intellect, 2010) exploring the trope of the beach in contemporary artistic practice (see http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=1954/ )
For a full list of my solo and group exhibitions and information about recent projects please see my website www.mieves.info .