I paint and I draw and I often present my work in tableau-like studio reconstructions. Painting is the core activity of my work, but I use various other media, such as video, written and spoken word. This inter-media approach enables me to address a range of themes, such as history and memory, maritime mythologies or the hypnotic image. The subjects of my paintings are often found objects. Indeed, my daily practice involves a search for objects that might be subjects. I consider this object search to be a medium in its own right, and the deployment of the found object to be a form of language, with its own vocabulary, grammar and syntax. The objects are often books, photographs and ephemera. They are, in effect, repurposed to address my preoccupations and concerns. Once the object becomes a subject, I attempt to copy what I see, usually in watercolor, in exact detail, with all the visible wear and tear, right down to each blemish or crease. The paintings are seldom finished, but I consider them ‘complete.’ When ‘complete,’ the object is juxtaposed with its painted copy - as it was, in fact, while I was painting it in the studio. This produces a sort of visual rhetoric, with the painting, in effect, interrogating its subject. The process involves close observation, pattern recognition and inquiry. There are similarities and differences, both for the observer and for me. While these are specific objects and representations, I believe I am presenting the real but evoking the imaginary. The installations are often immersive reconstructions of my studio, set in and referring to my studio practice and the imaginary space of the studio. The contents of these studio reconstructions are the objects I have found, accumulated, acquired, inherited and stored over the years. They amount to a disorganized archive, representing other times and places. Some of these installations are, almost literally, immersive; I use soapstone and chalk drawing on the floor to evoke the imagery of imagined or remembered seas. They suggest sublime memory as well as the current and familiar threat of sea level rise and inundation. Visitors walk on the floor drawings, leaving their footprint as evidence. Ultimately, as with much of my work, these seemingly simple procedures, which present a mise en scene, result in a mise en abyme, where meaning shifts between fact and fiction, imagination and reality. In the studio reconstructions, the studio is presented as real and imaginary space, both embraced and refuted. Not the real thing. I am interested in the associative states of mind these objects, copies and pictures evoke, such as displacement and haunting, daydreaming and remembering. For me, the studio space or gallery is a means of imaginary transport; it is both somewhere and elsewhere.
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