Transitory Belonging

Drawing as an immediate and transitive action, facilitates the visual expression of space, time and experience. Against a backdrop of increasingly sophisticated imaging technology, and an expanded use of hybrid media in the arts, the activity of drawing can assume a dynamic and shifting position between centrality and the margins. It is from this unique tension of the understood and the emerging, the learned versus the instinctual, that drawing becomes possibility within contemporary practice. While I work in a variety of media, from paper works, to installation to digital video, the extant potential of drawing informs all of my working processes. On the one hand this has afforded me a migratory ability to move freely between these differing approaches, while simultaneously allowing them to inform and change one another.

More often than not, I conscript and amend ‘found’ visual documents, such as maps, passports and film footage to inform and develop my work, and in turn mediate it’s content.  Through the combined processes of alteration, isolation and dissection, the assimilation of these materials into my own visual lexicon, correspondingly embodies the dual attributes of presence and absence, antecedent and latent possibility. The work that emerges from such a strategy accordingly retains something of the materials prior history, in combination with my own, new directive. The writer Greg Hilty evokes spatial and proprietary metaphors when he refers to this as "inhabiting the corpus of another image".

Despite apparent clear purpose and directed usage, documents such as maps and passports embody ulterior structures of power and interrelationships within which we are all equally bound. This material is then literally dislocated, both spatially and temporally, in such as way as to subvert its original modus and offer alternate interpretations. What is removed through this process is ultimately as present and pertinent as what is preserved in the finished work. 

My interest in maps and related documents belies a long-term preoccupation with boundaries; zones of demarcation (both real and imagined) that constitute the perceived edges of the self and the formation of identity. To this end, I construct uncertain terrains and cartographic landscapes that exist precariously at the threshold between the visible and the invisible, simultaneously lost and at once found. I am interested in what it is to occupy the liminal space between places, and in turn what it is to then negotiate this alternative positioning.

The artifice of both veracity and stasis are present within the construction of maps. This intrinsic distortion conceals an alternative that is ambiguous and constantly shifting.  In turn, we are never exactly where we believe ourselves to be. In the same way that there exists a discrepancy between the map and what it seeks to represent, the visual outcomes of my inquiry create an interstice of difference, between the subject and the object. Connection and disconnection alike are held in mutual tension, across a flat traversal plane of fluid associations.

Hilty, G. (2005). Louise Hopkins: freedom of information: paintings drawings 1996-2005. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Fruitmarket Gallery, pp.44.