These works are a series of translations. I am exploring the ways that meaning can be altered from one translation to the next while still appearing as an accurate account. Navigating uncertainty among multiple truths is a condition that mirrors my experience of knowing the world through representations. As I work through various layered processes, both analogue and digital, I eventually assemble a continually changing body of evidence. The more knowledge that is gained through close observation, the more one’s sense of truth may be unraveled by new and changing circumstances.
I consider all my work to be within the realm of “drawing” which I define broadly as works on paper and generative mark-making—both from the hand and from the apparatus of camera or printing machine. Working through various layered processes allows me to navigate pictorial space and flatness, image and surface. I want to unsettle the complacency of a first look so that the absorbtion offered by the image is interrupted by evidence of process such as texture, grain, and digital aberrations. Slowly, the picture-object is revealed as a material construction rather than a seamless representation.
Architecture is important to me as a structure that embodies aspects of strength and stability as well as the potential for weakness and failure. I designed the black carbon paper sculptures that are pictured throughout these works to be loosely based on architectural forms. After carefully constructing them with hard edges, and ruled and scored lines, I then crushed the geometric objects flat in a printmaking press. I found that by pulling the flattened forms back into three dimensions they became compelling objects to photograph and draw. Within these resurrected structures I saw both architecture and ruins. In this series I sought to create images where the shapes of shadows and light are spatially convincing in both positive and negative versions, resisting a fixed orientation.
For the past 10 months I have been situated in a city that changes markedly from rapid construction every day. My long-standing interest in architecture as an illusion of spatial certainty has taken on new levels since living in Qatar. I arrived as a foreigner to the desert country and began taking samples and observations to the studio in ways similar to an archaeologist but with different tools and objectives. I pictured these samples through a lens, scope, or scanning device providing views I could not access otherwise. My findings grew as I pieced together segments and these became material for new structures, to be re-presented yet again. This body includes some carbon gelatin prints I made in London and Doha looking at the surface of the desert as translated through the speckled and pockmarked surface of this archaic method of image making. Larger fabric prints use a Shibori dyeing technique called Arashi (meaning storm) which has become a new form of mark-making for me, a device for color to interact with a material image. This work is new, incomplete, and ongoing.