Adam has originated a range of his own processes, which he uses in conjunction with traditional disciplines to create alluring and engaging work.
The surfaces of the pieces within this body of work are created as a Florentine marble fresco. Layer by layer coats of a marble composite are applied to the canvas and built up to create a veneer like marble base then the piece may be sectioned off and further layers can be pigmented and applied, textured and polished before paint is introduced to the damp or dry base. Minerals, aggregates, base and precious metals, pigments and other materials are incorporated within his works.
The earliest use of employing crushed marble in this way dates back some 4000 years to the Minoan civilization. In time knowledge of this type of work reached Rome where in the houses of the great and wealthy it became fashionable to ornament the main wall areas with a fine lime, marble putty applied in many thin coats, often coloured and polished to a smooth mirrored finish. The artist would then embellish the area by painting into the damp surface in the creation of frescoes. With the fall of Rome this form of painting virtually disappeared until its rediscovery in opulent 16th Century Florence where lavish marble frescoes of the Italian Renaissance remain magnificent examples today.
“More recently I have become interested in expanding my range of materials beyond the use of fresco marble and traditional pigments and using crushed and prepared glass, fossils, granite, various other minerals and metal ore.
I find the experience of developing the use of original tactile substance exciting; utilising ancient physical ingredients in the creation of contemporary work.
I am also interested in exploring the scale and size of the raw material I use as an alternative to pigment or paint. Sourcing, crushing, sieving, washing and grading these materials is time consuming, yet it is fascinating when at the end of the process I have a range of eight or ten grades of the same material, which can be blended with various other materials, in the creation of a new expression of other worldly elements.”
On one level Adam is exploring material as metaphors and our attitudes towards the beauty or banality of these components. On another level the work conveys a number of thought processes or narratives relating to our elemental make-up and its relationship with a deeper content. There are questions about reason, illusion and truth and how we perceive ourselves with reference to life in the physical world.
During one of his creative journeys he became captivated by imagery observed through various lenses. The extraordinary images both from afar and those honed in upon by satellites of our wonderful world, the cosmic vistas captured by the Hubble telescope and the Cassini space probe, the subterranean environments of our own planet and the imagery captured through microscopy such as diatoms (our smallest single cell living beings) make fascinating material.
Although the size-scale of these visions are unimaginably different, from space telescope to microscope, some of the visual imagery can be amazingly similar. Whilst inspired by ideas arising from the contemplation of this visual counterpoint and the work emerging, he also became interested in the qualities and imagery unveiled through the quarrying, splitting and polishing of ancient stones, minerals and fossils.
He is now working with the ideas arising from these ruminations, his special historical skills and ancient physical materials in the creation of contemporary works of art.