ABOUT THE INTERPLAY SERIES
Drawing provides me with a barrier against the monotony of daily life...an adventure amidst the drudgery of domestic obligation..... a security blanket under which to hide from political madness. Drawing allows me to examine life’s contradictions on a stage of my own choosing and through this activity I can escape the uniformity of images and messages in the culture around me; the sterility of contemporary design, the mindlessness of consumerism, the lack of mystery, the irrelevance of history.
The drawings are made over carefully selected photographic book pages, usually from a previous era, such as a 40’s crime scene, or a fatal car crash from the 50’s. The surface of these bookplates are first covered with paint, rendering the original scene unrecognizable. That mask is then scratched or dabbed away in places to reveal only traces of the underlying image. Those small revelations are then reinterpreted using traditional drawing materials; ink, pencil, graphite.
Central to this work is the idea of transformation. Narrative themes and forms of coded representation combine the formal and technical with the theatrical. The drawings’ art relies on the imaginative potential and the liberating interplay of documentary imagery and fantasy. The characters, patterns, buildings and landscapes employed as participants in these dramas do not refer directly to any one cultural source but rather to many sources, creating a catalyst or reservoir of possible meanings that, for the viewer, can unravel many discursive journeys
The process itself is captivating. There is a moment when a mark transcends itself and takes on meaning. Consequently the viewer is seduced into relating a photographic fragment to what might be a deliberately crude, primitively drawn figure consisting of just a few rough lines. My aim is to catch the viewer on a precipice of perception, juggling a disharmony between modes of depiction, where the distinction between document and invention is lost. I am fascinated by the way in which a few random marks in grey dust, or an ink dribble, can create an illusion that stands on equal terms with the concrete “reality” of the photographic form.
The use of the photographic image beneath the drawing acts contrapuntally, as a background “riff” does in jazz. When my own actions become unduly repetitive, I reintroduce the underlying photograph, breaking down the predictability of the evolving image and disturbing the status quo. The diversity and occasional horror of the photographs I choose also serve to confront my safe, affluent, middle class existence. Socially, culturally and historically, they reference other lives. Using these photographs as a base, I get to start, and then expand, from somewhere else.