Synthesis represents my on going investigation into memory in relation to the family album, fragments and the photograph as object. This series of miniature paintings depicts collaged images, painted onto small aluminium plates. They are displayed in a sequence so that each painting has visual links to its neighbour and starts engendering a narrative.
I have continued to explore the idea of memory - the photograph as a repository for memory, autobiographical memory and formulating memories.
The confluence of two images within a single painting has now become the lynchpin in my practice; the join and the visual push and pull of the composite images is integral to the ambiguity created in the paintings.
My source material remains the family album, but in Synthesis I filter out details whilst melding two images into one improbable landscape. I use colour to emphasise the join and the slippage.
The miniature has become key to my work as a way of engaging the viewer and retaining the intimacy of the private experience within the public forum. I paint on surfaces of 15 x 20 cm or 11 x 15cm. The small scale establishes a further connection with the source material.
JAUNT AND FOSSICK
I am continuing to embrace the tool of collage as part of my process to disrupt the image.
I photocopy the collages and then painting from these monotone copies I can imagine my own colour like a retouched Technicolor film.
Despite leaving behind the transfer and the monochrome colour palette, my work has retained muted greyed-out tones that allude to the passing of time. Painting on aluminium references the material history of photographs whilst giving a flat matt finish so that the paintings are devoid of the vibrancy of the present.
I began this series of work by considering the commonplace and ordinary nature of the family photo and the banality of the everyday .
The composition within the source photograph has become more important to me. In Album and Recollections I did not give consideration to the cropping or cutting of the image as they were used in their entirety or adapted to suit the collage. In Synthesis the awkward cropping of the amateur photograph takes on a more important role in the configuration of the painting.
Synthesis demonstrates a reduction of what is in the image. I am increasingly interested in what is not shown, emptying out the paintings so that they become almost abstract, therefore asking questions about the nature and fallibility of memory.
By losing specifics such as individuals and place, this allows space for reflexivity and room for imagination and memories of the viewer.
The photographs, now so familiar to me have lost any ‘punctum’, the images are painted and repainted so that each time in the change of colour, scale and position the memories and narratives are once again altered. Family photographs may appear to show us our past but how we think about and relate to them is about the present.
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Alongside the photograph, I have become increasingly interested in the postcard and how it authenticates and documents personal histories. The photograph moves from a personal experience to be seen by a greater audience. In contrast the postcard is a mass produced souvenir that moves from the public to private experience.
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Recollections is a group of composite paintings inspired by classical historical scenes and photoshopped images and collage.
Painting on larger canvases, I use found and personal photographs as source material.
I am interested in the shift that happens when joining similar familiar images and taking them to an alternative fused representation. , I manipulate the backgrounds, scale and perspective to create implausable scenes.
A characteristic of the family photograph is that the majority of the figures are looking out at the viewer, engaging as they once did with the photographer.I find this confrontation and theatrical relationship to the beholder intriguing, the link to that moment in history. The frame becomes the stage set or film still.
Click here for ink drawings addressing composition and film stills.
I experimented with photographic transfer. Returning to working on a more intimate scale I created a succession of images in monochrome combining transfer with touches of paint.
I used aluminium surfaces as this reflected early photographic techniques, an oscillation between old and new images and techniques of reproduction. It also gave a greater awareness of the photograph as object.
This was a pivotal point in my work, the use of two photographic images works to create an uncertainty, but can still be percieved as a belivable space. The small scale retains the intimacy and the experience of the encounter with the family photograph.
Using the family album as source material, I painted monotone figures on canvas. I retained the white border and small scale to refer to their photographic origins.
I was interested in the idea of continuity and memorialising, nostalgia and traces of identity associated with the photograph. They are tangible reminders of absence and presence. They alter our perceptions of the past and are part of the complex interwoven narratives that make up our personal autobiographies.
I wanted to paint these images as I am fascinated by the transformative and distancing potential of the painted image.
I experimented with wax, obscuring the images as a metaphor for memory loss. The opaque layering homogonises the painting blurring any details and deconstructs the image.