Dean Thomas

Paintings

Industrial wastelands aren't exactly what they seem. There is often a geometric geography, an architecture, non-cacophanous and intentional, where things have been deposited in arrangements and categorized as if someone intended someday to use them again. But, many of these items linger, rusting, awaiting their reuse, ageing in their environment; they become fixtures among a changing depository of implements that have outlived their use.

I view these places as museums, cataloging tools of past and present technology and industry, respirating signposts that helped us, but don't get the credit. I sense a living story in these pieces of machinery, pipes, tubes, brick piles, etc. They speak to me of the toil expended in their creation and their implementation. They are shadows that cast shadows.

While my images are not homocentric (there are usually no people in them), to me they represent a second-stage homo-centricity, where  humans left an impression of their activities; every scratch on a tugboat hull is the mark of dockworker pulling a tow line; every notch in a railroad tie is a laborer's hammer swung awry; all are puzzles.

I work in oil paint on canvas, and spend up to six months on some paintings; I will not leave it until the myths behind all the images are clear to me. I like to work large, so that the viewer can enter into the landscape and feel part of it. I love deep horizon lines, perspective and big sky. I hope when you walk into one of my paintings, you will find an intriguing amusement park there.