Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Backstory

On the 17th of December Helen, Poppy and I went on an overnight trip to Matiu/Somes Island. The trip was many things: a workbook collective Christmas party, a belated birthday celebration, and last, a farewell to a dear teacher, mentor, fellow artist and friend off on a new adventure. Alas, she could not join us.

Since we were butting up against our upcoming exhibition, Translucent Landscapes, it was only natural this was at the forefront of our mind and therefore directed conversation and exploration. We spent much of the day researching through filming and photographing, discovering many extraordinary visual feasts, in all sorts of interesting places. It was exhilarating to be absorbed and to respond. In my case, it was in the micro worlds and moments that I discovered. The weekend was a consolidation and followed previous research.
A southerly blow had us limited to the Forest and Bird house, late on the Saturday afternoon. Where we managed to get very merry on some rather good wine and become obsessed with completing a jigsaw puzzle. The 9:30 light curfew didn’t stop us, we were jigsaw possessed, using headlamps to carry on. Poppy sensibly bid us goodnight - Helen and I were convinced of the benefits of jigsaw in relation to our art practice, a distilling of form, colour, problem solving, and composition. How you can get stuck on a piece, believing it to part of some whole but it just doesn’t fit.

Jigsaw Demon Photo by Poppy Leknar
I work in a rather convoluted way; I tend to dig holes for multiple seedlings rather than a single tree. I am slightly sheepish about bringing up Gilles Deleuze and FĂ©lix Guattaris’ philosophical concept the Rhizome. Because, quite frankly I haven’t read and absorbed enough to be able to make a critical analysis of how it relates. Only that I am very drawn to its concepts in regard to application of thought processes.

I tend to work with a number of parallel ideas in an organic Deluezian fashion rather than a sequential development from a single source idea. Follows is a sample of activity from my workbook.

My main project will be an installation. The model below doesn’t translate well in photo form, due its static quality. Whereas, the piece involves the viewer’s body to activate what occurs within the space.

In this project, I have enjoyed the play with the materiality of translucency and am using it as a mechanism to create a sensory space where people can travel their own landscape through their perception of what is presented to them. This may occur through triggers such as memory, emotions, imagination or physical, exploration or perhaps more. My challenge is setting up an environment where a lot of in-betweens exist. It’s untested but hey, that’s what the Fringe Festival is about.

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