The making of my work is motivated by a consideration of the way meaning unfolds through a field of relations both historical and contemporary. This includes awareness of the historical precedents of art production, both proximate and more distant. One such precedent is found in the Baroque sensibility, and another in Dutch painting of the seventeenth century, (a period commonly referred to as the age of observation). They engaged with the ambiguities that exist between the world we see (and construct), and the world as seen (and recorded through the optical system of the eye), between the conceptual, the experiential and the transitory.
I make art with a range of media: painting, pin-hole photography, digital prints, artist’s books, sound, light, mirrors and three dimensional objects including industrial strength cardboard columns. These works often reference the architecture of site, light and optical phenomena, instruments for seeing, (such as the camera obscura, the lens, the telescope, the mirror), and the impulse to map. They are speculations on our engagements with space and light, both physically and psychologically, and how these things can be experienced, constructed, seen, pictured, remembered, mapped, abstracted, reproduced, re-inscribed, exposed, read or decoded. The smooth surfaces of my paintings over which minimal patterns of light play in strips and flashes, reference the photographic process, the traces of which resonate with earlier forms of painting. However, by focusing on fragments of images found in enigmatic 17C. anamorphic distortions, pin-hole photography, maps, navigation, astronomy, and still life, these works appear like close-up photographic stills influenced by more recent technologies. Created in multiples or series, they can appear as abstracted pieces of a puzzle, flashes of light, variations on a theme. They refer to vision and memory, time and space, art and science, psychology and history.
When we lay culture over nature like a map we raise questions about the way we observe, speculate and imagine the natural world and our relationship with it. The depths of the night sky are associated with the awe and mystery of nature. My more recent work has emerged from speculations about relationships between sky-situated knowledge and our grasp of natural phenomena in a space that is beyond the full range of the senses. This space is revealed through observational technologies associated with light and image capture, multi-wavelength radiations and remote sensing, digital manipulation and photography. My work, (including printmaking, which has a long association with maps), explores simultaneously mapping models as well as the technical processes involved in reading and understanding these models. Constructed as speculative maps from found data, when enlarged (some to mural-size which engage the whole body in the viewing process), they reveal within their various abstracted layers information mostly beyond the reach of the naked eye. Embedded in them is a subjective map, somewhere between art and science, which emerges from the play of light, space and time and the noisy patterns of image capture. Through my most recent project Sky Lab I hope to continue to develop these themes both independently and with others.