I get asked a lot what I do and how I create my work. Trying to explain to people often leaves them confused and baffled so I will try and explain a little about how I created my work and some of my processes.
My main project Passage was started during my MA studies. All the original images were made up of layers of paper, photographed from pages in a collection of old books and rusty metal. Photographing everything individually, against a white background so I can isolate it, remove the background and blend it into the image.
Bringing all of the images into photoshop and working in layers, changing the opacity to blend layers together, pushing somethings back so they are hardly visible. I particularly do this with text to distort the translation, I sometimes leave one or two words legible and remove or fade the rest away. This is how I build up the image, layer by layer to create the illusion of a landscape.
I also create my own textures using rust, tea, salt and paint. I photograph or scan them into my computer. This adds depth, dimension and interesting textures to my work.
The open landscape, devoid of physical beings but with the traces of their existence etched upon the surface is what fascinates me. It is with this in mind that directs my work. Creating a world that is made up of physical objects that have travelled through time, had a use, purpose or personal value to someone at some point.
For example, the wheel. It came from a wheelbarrow and I found it in a scrap yard. Who owned it? What was it used for? Where was it used? How many people owned it? So many questions from one object.
The books have there own story as within them are inscription, letters, photographs, scraps of paper and stains. All these things trace back to a life once lived. I photograph everything. It is like collecting forensic evidence of the past then using it to create an new picture.
Art is a continuous journey of discovery for both artist and observer. Opening your eyes and mind, you may find that what you were looking at is not the same as what you were seeing.
I love this quote by Marcel Proust:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes”