Im going to talk to you briefly about my practice. Most of my work tends to be sculptural but drawing and painting often inform allot of my work.
For instance This is a piece that I created from 80 singular wire sculptures individually hung from nails. They were originally blind continuous line drawings of tools that I then adapted into wire, I liked that they became open to interpretation in that it wasn’t clear to the viewer what they were meant to represent, so they became ambiguous. Different people saw different shapes and forms and in displaying them in the grid format they were able to closely examine each one individualy.
This Piece was a commission for the chester markets, they asked that we create something to do with chesters heritage to brighten up some dull area so I created these three dimensional releifs based on a tudor pattern, I lazer cut all of the pieces and it was painted in a way that created an optical illusion so when you look at it from front on it looks flat but as you move around it you can see the depth.
These are images of a series of works that I created. Firstly I did these abstract paintings from technical drawings from an engineering book as the symmetry and geometry in them appealed to me. I then chose to develop them into three dimensional releifs created out of MDF which you can see here. All of the pieces were hand cut and sanded to try and keep them as neat and symmetrical as possible. They were then painted in similar muted tones, as it was soft pastely colours that appealed to me, I began with painting them grey to go along with the machine aestethic but then slowly introduced other colours whilst keeping the basis of the paint paynes grey and white. I then futher developed them by fracturing the shapes as you can see in this image, I chose to cut them at right angles in keeping with the geometrical drawings and played around with creating seams in them by adding in this case a layer of plaster neatly in the gaps.
My concerns have changed recently I began looking at textured surfaces, my initial inspiration was a series of photographs that I took whilst on holiday in Malta, which focused on the different textures of the old buildings and landscapes, looking at the peeling paint and broken plaster and natural rock formations. My interest developed from the symmetry and geometry of my previous work to more organic shapes and materials. This lead me to experiment with plaster and other building materials to try and recreate these organic images in a three dimensional form. My work tends to be concerned with residual marks as these are the things that draw my attention in everyday life, for example holes in walls as they beg the question – How was this created? Why hasn’t it been fixed? What’s the story behind it? Its also lead me to make my research much broader and have been looking at artists who use textured surfaces such as alberto burri who creates vast textural pieces by transforming materials.
This began as a canvas with the intention of using plaster to create a painting on the surface but when it came to it the white side didn’t appeal to me so I filled in the back and In doing so, disregarded the tradition of painting a canvas . The links between painting and a plastered surface go way back to when frescoes were painted onto freshly laid lime plaster this meant that when dry the image become an integral part of the wall and a permanent feature. More recently ive been looking more at the philosophical ideas in art, such as walter benjamins notion of aura. Eventually my filled canvases became more refined and I filled these frames creating a completely aura-less painting as it has no figuration, representation and is completely attainable as a piece of work that that viewer could then make themselves. It also has no immediate feeling that you get from it, it is purely empty and void. He goes on to talk about the idea that you can put anything in a gallery setting and it creates an aura about it of being valuble, so I displayed these as if they were on a shelf in a shop or a gallery store room so to take this aura away from them
You can see one just peeking though, the plaster in this one was fairly dry when applied so I couldn’t create a smooth surface and was left with these smooth gestural marks which I then chose to develop.
This is one of my more recent pieces of work and my concerns have largely been to do with minimalism and monochromatic paintings. I’ve been inspired by seeing the works of Piero Manzoni and lucio fontana in new York and research into people like david batchelors found monochromes. Given that this year i have mainly been working in plaster I created a series of pieces by plastering on canvas covered board and incorporated gesture into it. Again another thing that I like about this piece is that somehow the gestures in it imply different shapes, some people see waves or dolphins, one even said that they saw a skull and for my essay ive been looking into this some more and the idea that as humans our brains are designed for pattern recognition and that we are had wired to try and find some meaning in abstraction. Because the plaster was fairly wet when applied, it doesn’t show necessarily finger marks, some people have been shocked that It was only created by hand gestures and in doing so it becomes more of a sculptural object than a painting but im really happy with the end result I’ve been experimenting with replicating it in different materials like concrete.