Luke Ahern

Artist Statement

The studio practice for this body of work relies on a process that is sporadic, instantaneous and nonlinear. I find viable content in this process but not based on a methodical, formulaic working out of a system. The system at play in this work is bound by my own intuition and furthered by chance, action and improvisation.


My work habits draw enormous influence from my practice as a musician. Improvisation is a tool that I constantly employ visually and sonically. I use material similarly to the way sound is altered. At times, I am fully aware of the outcome of my actions while at other times there is an enormous amount of unpredictability at play. This sense of familiarity butted up against a process that is haphazard leads to a tension that can become amplified when the work is installed.


I am interested in the abstract artist as a hunter-gatherer. I am continuously mining my life for visual data that can be reactivated in my work. The materials that I work with come from every aspect of my life from the rug under my feet to the waste bin next to my studio. I utilize a sense of fetishism that I find in material. This creates logic in the work that is chaotic which forces problems for the viewer. My work seeks to confuse our sense of logic and visuality to present issues for the viewer. Language in this body of work is sometimes insufficient as a means of analysis. At times the logic that we seek to find in the work is too blunt or too contradictory to become easily accessible. My work exists in a world of “not quite”. These objects are not quite objects, not quite complete, not quite monuments.