by Joni Brenner
The sometimes abstracted images of Wilson Mootane result from my attempts to capture the fugitive nature of being: his face in constant motion, talking, laughing, growing older gave rise to the somewhat inchoate quality of my works as I tried to keep up with the changes, and tried to embed them, tried to embed his being, his life, into a single image. The looking over the years was so intense and the shared space of the studio so intimate — he knew how I felt, when I was tired, working well, or badly, he knew when to stop talking, to let me focus, he knew which poses gave me trouble, where I kept my clay, my turpentine, when my brushes needed cleaning, or when stone slabs needed to be prepared. This intensity meant that sometimes the images I made of him looked, and felt, more like me. The small thick black inter-subjective portrait titled Me was made looking at him. Wilson Mootane was the only sitter I had for almost twenty years, he died on the 19th January 2010.
‘Me’ 2005 oil on canvas, 25 x 30 x 11.5 cm | including shelf frame