Zine for degree show
This small book has been developed from the wild creative off-shoots that manifested during the process of writing my dissertation. They have informed my visual practice over the past few months and I’ve been exploring ways to develop the material and gain deeper perspectives.
I have recently published a website that highlights my more successful pieces. Its a clean, professional, minimal site with links to my videos on Vimeo and some photography and writing. I used Squarespace to create the site and plan to develop it further over the coming months.
Blade runner’s pill-popping Geisha
There is something in this imagery that I find compelling. Blade Runner is a film that has lingered in my psyche for years – the dystopic vision of a world of stark hierarchies. The director, Ridley Scott has explained that the advert is promoting the use of the contraceptive pill to dissuade the vastly over-crowded poplulace from having children.
Abalone: Macro photography
Abalone is an iridescent version of mother of pearl – otherwise known as ‘Nacre’. This substance is of particular interest for me as it’s created by the mantle of molluscs in response to an invading body. Nacre is released to neutralise the irritant and leads to the formation of a pearl – it is a survival mechanism, an immune response and evidence of assault. It’s amazing that the pearl – the molluscs scar tissue – is regarded as a beautiful, desirable object.
Nacre could be a metaphorical representation of armour or relate to the social masks we assume to navigate and survive our realities. It could be the mask or costume we develop and assume through our experiences and societal pressures. Something we use to protect and disguise our true, soft, inner selves.
Assimilate: visual research
This recent video work is a response to concerns I addressed within my dissertation regarding assimilation and homogenisation of the culture via hegemonic systems. The piece has been compiled entirely from appropriated footage sourced from the internet and its the first time I’ve allowed myself to source imagery in this way. The ‘stolen’ or ‘borrowed’ footage references the hyper-saturated media driven world we’re enmeshed within. The neutral, emotionless female voice was provided by google translate and was inspired by an article written by Nina Powers where she discusses the use of a female voice announcer in train stations and airports. She has hypothesised that the female voice encourages a more gentle and indirect form of social coercion – it lulls and subliminally commands compliance for a variety of psychological reasons.
ON ‘the Poor image’
See Hito Steyerl. Why am I drawn to the poor image? Pixelated degraded image quality? There’s something familiar and comforting that harks to my childhood – a trust and companionship in the TV as a child. As image quality improved and TV screens became clear and more sharply focussed, it marked the change in comforting content and made way for high-end, slick, polished, unreal (or too real) imagery. I needed that clear definition between reality and TV/cinema. Now that has dissolved, I feel I need to revert back to the poor image quality in order to demarcate the separation between art, reality and imagination or dream – these three tendencies can become confused for me – most likely because of the coping mechanisms I’ve built throughout my life.
My work is clearly conveying a strong element of personal psychology. It’s taken me a long time to realise and accept this within my practice. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. I don’t want my art to be a vehicle for catharsis but is something I need to research and clarify.
1.the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.“music is a means of catharsis for them”
synonyms: purging, purgation, purification, cleansing, release, relief, emotional release, freeing, deliverance, exorcism, ridding; More antonyms: repression
“what does a broken relationship feel like’?
The vortices draw on my present anxieties but they also signify a barrier between realities – a separation of the known and unknown – visualised impending change – the struggle for hope is emphasised by the little scurry between the light and the dark central entities. Barriers and demarcation of spaces, zones and areas are regularly referenced in my work and thinking.
Click the image above. My first GIF made in response to a theme of ecological death. Cafe Morte has recently explored this in collaboration with local artist and writer, Ella Frear. She has been investigating Cornish path moss that is in rapid decline since mining operations have stopped. The moss fed off toxic soil rich in copper as a byproduct of the mining activity. Now the environment has fewer toxins, the moss is dying off. This reflects a strange transient existence to help clean a natural environment and how nature responds to artificial pollutants.