My current body of work “Vanish” focusses on impermanence and remnants of ourselves that we leave behind. I am interested in the connection between photography and memory, the image as a stand in for memory, or comforting simulacra suggesting presence in times of absence.
“Vanish” is based on the idea that memories are layered, there are gaps and differing transparency or opacity of depth to each memory, before it fades and is entirely forgotten. I wonder whether photography corrupts or enhances memory, replacing our own visual records, while providing a focus point for constructing a record in our brain, using un-contextualized fragments of a human’s existence.
The installation consists of life-size photographic prints from appropriated, found, tintype images of Victorian girls, on semi opaque silk organza. The tangible evidence of these girls’ existence is found in pocket size tintypes, each in a varying state of worn disintegration. The tintype, invented in the mid 1800’s signifies an era when portraiture became more accessible, in the form of a cheap tin photograph.
These images and my research relate to how we understand temporality, portraiture and the act of photography.
Sum of the Parts
Sum of the Parts consists of dissections of faces from appropriated selfie images of girls, found on the internet. These images and my research relate to how we understand temporality, portraiture and the act of photography. The protagonists are recording the passage of time, freezing memories and producing visual artifacts or traces.
Photography is by its nature a reductive two dimensional process, and in the case of portraiture, it generally eliminates extraneous or contextual material and exhibits only one semblance of truth. Painting on the other hand, is an additive process where palette, texture and quality of mark augment context and invite us to slow down – to absorb, look and think.
I am observing the flourishing selfie culture and am interested in the purposefulness of the female self-traces being released out into the virtual world by girls and women as they commodify their identity, constructing a trail of illusions, mementos and lures.
Within my studio practice and research, I am looking at the youth culture, their self-representations of beauty, and the subjects’ agency in the virtual world. These are owned and constructed but intangible histories that are being written incrementally, registered in reductive photographic selfie images. My current work questions what we consider to be truth, reality, and the correlation of these virtual stories with the physical world.
In 2015 seemingly random appearance of double time on my digital devices became too frequent to ignore, so I began to record each incident by screen capturing or photographing the time. Late in 2017, I noticed my disrupted sleep-waking patterns had increased to the point it felt like my ability to sleep had halved.
One side of the book is devoted to double time incidents, while the reverse is a continuous drawing in ballpoint pen, a visualization of my troubled sleep lines. The lines follow the shape of myself sleeping and are arranged in a graph-like manner describing my haphazard sleep-wake-sleep patterns.
Before the advance of digital technology and the internet, looking at someone’s watch or clock might not have been considered intimate or an invasion of privacy. While these screen captures seem innocuous, they represent a personal look into my life for the last 3 years. The images include texts to friends and family, crossing my father’s death, travels, correspondence, steps taken each day, through to my phone telling me I have not drunk enough water.
The concertina book is 120 foot long, a 3 dimensional artifact of these intangible, fleeting and completely random moments, when I happened to look at a device and it was showing double time. The images are arranged chronologically from June 2015 to November 2018 raising questions for me about how we experience time.
Sheep portraits – an investigation into the differing breeds of sheep in New Zealand and their preferred habitat. The portraits are 3 x 3’ paintings, oil on canvas, in the format of a fauna specimen, referencing the animal portraits made by travelling artists in the 18th Century who documented bloodlines of prize animals for farmers, before the advent of photography.
Each sheep has been bred specifically for the terrain of each farmer’s property and whether they are farmed for wool or meat
Welcome Home - a series collected at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, Artists of Burning Man 2011-2017, investigating the interaction of humans and their environment. Burning Man is a radical event focusing on creativity and self-reliance in the harsh northern Nevada desert.
The Comstock Portrait Project 2013-2017
Since living in the Wild West, I have been interested in the inhabitants of the old mining towns of Nevada, creating biographical portraits of groups of people who have adapted around extreme climate and landscape conditions. In “The Comstock Portrait Project” the subjects are living in what remains of the boom or bust Comstock region, where the gold and silver rushes of the 1850’s severely impacted both environment and human existence. The series is a collection of large-scale portraits of the Comstock folk, recordings of their recollections, and photographs of homes in these isolated communities.
"Pinhole Visionaries" Lagniappe gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand
2010 August group show
Miniature sets, a continuing work in progress 5x4" pinhole photographs on polaroid, each exposure between 4 and 28 hours in duration scanned and printed on archival metallic photographic paper
limited editions of 10
beside the sea
photographed on black and white infrared 5x4 film monorail camera scanned to digital printed on 10" x 12" paper image size 7" x 8.5"
First published in Arts Magazine Soup Australia
printed on Japanese ultra matte paper limited editions of 10
Times of Transformation
Children photographed in a pool in Northern Italy
Times of Transformation Arthaus66 New Mexico USA Solo show, June 2009
Photographed on 35mm film
printed on Hahnemuhle fine art paper 22" x 17"
edition of 25
Little things we collect, preserve and treasure. Mementi mori, memories, objects of personal significance.