Jonathan Middleton
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© 1998-2021

There’s a Road I Know I must Go (Even Though I Know That Road is Closed) is from a new series of paintings I am producing based on star charts. The series marks the return to a studio practice after giving up my earlier studio sometime around the year 2000. The star chart series allows for a very simple beginning point on studio work: to make labour about ideas. Stars stand in for ideas here in their most general sense – a series of celestial objects, known to us through observation and speculation rather than empirical experience. The stars in these works are plotted by hand from commercial star charts, and are replete with errors, omissions and embellishments.

The title of this specific work is derived from the opening lyrics of Alessi Brothers 1976 song Seabird, a song that laments a seabird that has been“out to sea too long”. Coincidentally, the songs release came one year after the disappearance of artist Bas Jan Ader during his Atlantic Ocean crossing, part two of the three-part In Search of the Miraculous series. Here, I imagine the song as a counterpart to Ader’s use of Searchin’ (1957) by The Coasters in the first part of In Search of the Miraculous: Searchin’ to send Ader out to sea, and Seabird to beckon him home.