The title for James Cousins' new exhibition refers to the Graphtec cutters setting, step size 0, the optimum level of precision available, which regulates levels of accuracy during the cutting of the long arcs and curves that make the vinyl stencils employed in the making of Cousins’ works. The demands of these large new works pressurise this precision to a point where unregulated incidentals, slips, rumbles, blips and bleeds seep into the complexly patterned orthodoxy of the cut stencils. This ethos of suggestion and retraction is also echoed through the orchestrated patterns of wide bands, derived from a dual tracking of movement of an airbrush across and around the supporting canvas, evident in the underpainting that layer the canvasses.
The employed stencils enable the artist to create a layer of screened paint, through which to embed an image onto a canvas. These stencilled images, combined with earlier events, oscillate between the finitely precise and infinitely expansive, operating on thresholds between painterly mark and image, between interior and exterior, between paintings entry into the world, and the world's entry into painting.
The artist would like to acknowledge support from the University of Auckland, Elam School of Fine Arts PBRF Fund.