October 9, 2008
By Mike Landry
For an artist driven by psychological experiences, like Newfoundlander Michael Pittman, nothing can provide more fodder than a near death experience. While out cutting wood recently he was pouring gasoline too close to a fire and there was an explosion. He could have been badly injured, but he received only minor injuries. It was more the shock of the experience that he struggled to deal with.
Pittman, who describes his dreamy paintings as “quasi-diarist investigations into perception,” was influenced to create a series of works centred around the weeks before and after his near death experience. The pieces are meditations on both mortality and vitality.
“It was something I would never have considered a life changing event that sort of turned out to be and made me consider a whole lot of other things,” says Pittman. “When I speak about this accident, I compared the way that I reacted to past experience of others in instances of similar events or things that have come together in my research.”