Highly regarded in Australia and internationally for his commitment to intellectual rigor and aesthetic finesse, in Silent Transformations Young explores the sublime inherent in metamorphosis in a series of new abstract and representational paintings.
These meticulously painted canvases are meditations on the process of transformation. As Young describes, they point to "the moment when a caterpillar changes into a moth, when deformation and reformation exist side by side. Here, banal time continues unperturbed outside of the cocoon. We see the transformation of a caterpillar into a moth, but at that moment, what is inside the cocoon knows not what it is. There is a sublime, metaphysical and indescribable paradox between the one state and the other - and this change yields two different qualities of time. Within change, there is a melancholy. Once recognised, it's impossible to see the world of forms in the same way again. In this silent transformation, form leads to a great formlessness and then back to form yet again. And so, the world goes, not kept static in ideal forms, but eternally and melancholically transforming.
The original bares little significance: we lose sight of it and forget, as it is now hybridised into another, and yet another. In our mourning of forms gone, in our loss, our eyes try to adjust, to trace new edges, searching for a new significance of the world - as it is when sitting Shiva. This too will be our plight, as our own bodies hybridise and are augmented with the robotic and the algorithmic."
John Young, 2019
Press release courtesy Arc One Gallery.