Once I have a basic image in mind, I work quickly at first, juggling mediums to research their effects and the way various methods and materials influence the way I work. Printing and photo etching have proved a labor-intensive but valuable research method in my current practice. Concentrated, sometimes repetitious engagement with process, although time consuming, encourages a release of conscious control and allows new ideas and connections to rise to awareness.
Early in Yr1 I created a piece for a small hallway exhibition that comprised multiple box canvasses of different sizes screen-printed with the same image, then arranged to suggest a layered, multilevel surface without a clear reference point. Contrasting dark and light panels and variant print effects create a sense of a whole that cannot be taken in at first glance. Edges and boundaries resist definition, and an overlay of Perspex depicting features of a world map creates a further boundary the viewer must penetrate in order to comprehend the image. (Click image to see finished piece).
152cm x 102cm ( each panel )
Lightbox installation ( 130cm x 102cm )
I am interested in the way ideas and materials can converge, and am drawn to discarded items consigned as refuse that are, in point of fact, simply transitioning from one form or purpose to another. Doorframes, mattress covers, and the granule contents of water filters have all found continuing life in my work, but I use them to meet the real practical and aesthetic demands of a piece rather than from solely conceptual motivations. Processes of creation and destruction happen simultaneously, and this can be reflected, for example, in the corroded appearance of a 3-D piece and in the way it more closely resembles an anatomical or a geological shape depending on the angle of viewing. ( Click image to see finished piece )
I work on several projects concurrently, as one feeds another, creating threads of meaning and a communication between seemingly distinct artworks. For a new piece I made January, 2015, part of an image that had formed the basis for a large oil painting was adjusted and recast as a small screen print. Twin panels of disused wood provided the slightly uneven, naturalistic surface I sought for the transfer of a chosen passage of text, and I discovered, through trial and error, that soft gel would achieve the slightly chipped, fading-away effect I hoped the text would convey. An application of clear varnish enhanced the image and brought it forward, after which I applied the individual screen print several times onto the dry surface.
Although the "text* throws a particular light on the work, the words are fragmented and illusory, as are the floating, slightly luminous figures depicted in the foreground. The intended effect is of a moment in time, and of a limited and dissolving chance to see both image and text clearly. (Click photo for complete work)
* “As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight in which everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we must all be aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwilling victims of the darkness.” – William O. Douglas
Anatomical shapes, particularly heads and hands - the primary means through which we pereive and interact with the world - figure strongly in my current practice. These disembodied parts are suggested or stylized rather than detailed and realistic, encouraging the viewer to see the familiar anew, and work against our natural impulse to label and file away what we perceive. Similarly, when human figures are repersented in my recent work, they are often not fully individualized or are partially obscured, suggesting something beyond what is seen.
The three dimensional installation I completed for Yr1 assessment in March, 2015, drew its inspiration, in part, from an earlier series of box canvasses ( see photo 1, top of page ). It reflects an effort to develop my continuing practice of creating variations that occasionally reference my own past work, transformed and reinterpreted through new methods, techniques and mediums. (Click image to see finished work )