Statement from Painted Pictures Show, June 2009

The works in this show are based on a natural history being recreated by a man of unknown origin. This man has awakened with no idea of his name or age, and only fugal bits of memory. He wanders in an isolated and thinly populated area, and finds that in addition to not understanding the language spoken by the people he encounters, he himself has been rendered mute. He has clearly had some sort of accident or coma, a sleep. He is in the most real sense “disoriented”, and decides to sketch in order to piece together what has happened: bits of objects, constructions from memory, things he sees, dreams that tell of a past that looks little like the present in which he wanders. Some of the drawings are made from visions of animals that come to him from a past place he has experienced. The visions haunt him at times - he sees the creatures in surrounding rocks and trees, yet isn’t sure if they are based on imaginary animals he has invented to fill the vacuum of his memory.

He does have rough recollections of large machines, and finds mountains heaped with various remains, including bits and pieces of metal. He fabricates some rude implements to help him travel, hunt and so forth. Oddly, various clear images of magnets arise in his dreams. Among other clear but mysterious knowledges, he has retained an understanding of magnetism, gravity and attraction. Naturally he wonders if this might not be a key to recovering his past.

I was curious about his sketches, which I have attempted to enlarge and reproduce in oil on canvas. They are done from memory.

Marc Roder,
Hornby Island, BC