Artist’s Statement – MA Degree Show
In my work I’m aiming to create spaces which draw the viewer in very gently and then either intrigue them enough to stay and puzzle over the anomalies in the work or let them move on quickly if the ‘volume’ is not high enough for them. Indeed, on first glance many of the pieces hardly state their presence at all; a few tiny sequins glimmer from beneath a veil of paper, a canvas bears the slightest traces of the painting that was there before, or a vast white wall is covered with a fragile skin of white labels, visible only through the ripples in its surface or the change of hue at the edge from a warm white to a cool one.
These works don’t give anything away quickly, but unfold over time. Using surfaces and patterns built up by the repetitive use of materials, my aim is that your vision, presented with something quite insignificant or boring, has to slow down in order to readjust to the subtle shadows and delicate patterns in something as mundane as a room of blank white pricing labels or a huge grey canvas covered in nothing but pin-pricks.
These ‘paintings’ are simple and direct – they are what they are – just the materials I’ve used. Despite the unassuming beauty shown in these somewhat mundane materials however, the picture is never quite perfect or sublime – each piece has an uneasy edge and sits tense, ready to break: a thin ribbon of peeling labels supports a 2m length of steel, a map designed to make navigation clearer now sits illegible, shredded and stitched back together, or the petals of a once-perfect rose hover dislocated and impaled.
Despite the repetition, regular patterns falter, things seem to be falling off, fading away or coming apart and the viewer is forced to look again, changing down a gear in order to take in the scale and material detail in the works. A fine-tuned awareness unfolds – of both the intimate world within the works and also the outer surrounding space and environment – the intensity of the light from the windows, the height of the walls, the colours and dimensions of objects nearby, and the presence or absence of others.
When placed in a more personal environment, as opposed to a studio or a gallery, I hope the ‘paintings’ continue to unfold over time, quietly brooding, allowing whoever chooses to pause and look, a calming focus for their thoughts but one that also highlights awareness of their outer setting and surrounding.