Bruton Correspondance School, Bruton 2021
(in private collection)
I was asked by Bruton Correspondence School to contribute to their Mail-Art project: the concept was simple they would post me a collage for me to work with as a foundation for an artwork to post back to them.
I instinctively deconstructed their collage photographing every step of unravelling the image. I continued to document its intuitive reconstruction into an organic mass carefully placed and glued, to create a new version of itself.
I made an animation of this process and posted it on Instagram. I also photocopied the image and found I preferred the photocopy — I was intrigued by the idea of the work existing in traces.
I explored this further by somewhat recklessly deciding to burn the hand-made image. After trying hard to poetically burn it to nothing, with the help of a birthday candle over the sink, I discovered that the solid mass of parts at the centre of the image stubbornly refused to burn (probably too much glue) and instead turned itself into a fiery remnant with curvy-charred edges.
At this point I realised this project was all over the place and existing in a series of traces, each as relevant as the other, each offering up a different alternative version of itself with a different sensibility or mood.
Knowing that whatever I posted back would inevitably take on new personalities via the lens of digital posts or documentation, I decided that it was these traces, these different moods or versions of one thing and the story telling itself, that overall formed the whole work.
Therefore this Artwork is documented as such; as you can see in this image.
Bowling Harbour Residency, Scotland 2018
IN SEARCH OF HORATIO
Photographic set of 18 prints
Edition of 3, POA
Made during my residency at Bowling Harbour, Scotland, this work references two other artists; Horatio McCulloch and Bas Jan Ader. McCulloch’s 1858 painting The Clyde from Dalnottar Hill depicts a view in close proximity to the location of my residency.
I decided to attempt to find the spot where McCulloch had stood to view this vista. Due to the urbanisation of the landscape the view is now mainly obscured, however the main difference to the view was the Erskine Bridge, an addition that has spanned the Clyde since 1971. I approached the bridge with some unease as along with its height and oppressive proximity to speeding cars it has a notorious reputation for suicide. However as I walked across the bridge McCulloch’s view was appearing between the horizontal barrier bars.
The view was finally visible and standing on the bridge it appeared strangely unchanged, but the context was overwhelming; that this was the last glimpsed view of the suicidal held a certain poignancy when framed within the context of the Romantic era and the legacy of the sublime.
A set of 18 photographic prints, document this journey, mimicking the format of Bas Jan Ader’s 1973 work In Search of the Miraculous.