11/04/2013 10:39 am ET

Matthew Couper on the ImageBlog

'Pict-Evol', 2012, oil on canvas, 58" x 46", private collection, Gisborne, New Zealand.
Upcoming Exhibition: Matthew Couper: Recent Devotional Paintings.

"...I’m interested in where things, well, symbols come from. I like to know its history. But then you're always thinking, can you trust what you are reading? It's a belief . . . a romanticized structure. A good example is the Picts. I’m supposed to be a descendant; you know, Scottish ancestry, Celtic, Scythian and all that. I used pictures I found when I was in Scotland – these classical nude figures covered in blue woad designs. This is, of course, total speculation; there was no documentation of what they looked like, only sparse historical tidbits in translated texts. I really like that…" the artist interviewed by City Gallery art curator Aaron Lister in 2007