"When we try to pick out anything by itself we find it hitched to everything in the universe."
I work with sculpture, installation and some digital art-forms. I sometimes work collaboratively with other artists, architects, landscape architects, structural engineers, composers, geographers, historians, biologists, dancers and others.
I am interested in the potential of shared languages, underlying aesthetics and concerns that occur within and between different art-forms. Mapping and other languages of systematic representation are the focus of my practice which is influenced by Robert Smithson’s deconstruction of the language of mapping and Eva Hesse’s exposures of underlying systems of meaning and power within society and the natural world. My sculptural language transposes between the graphical and the spatial using the tropes of cartography and scientific illustration. The resulting work is as much a map or model of itself as of its referent.
I use analogies and metaphors from science, philosophy and theology. Topology, the study of the properties of form that remain invariant under distortion, entropy, the tendency for energy and organization to dissipate and homeostasis or autopoesis, the ability of a system, organism or machine to maintain a steady state internally in an entropic environment would be three of the more significant scientific ones. This engagement with science is motivated by a ‘post-reductionist’ sense of the necessity for science to connect with other forms of knowledge and ways of knowing the world.
I sift patterns and fragments from the natural and cultural realms and recombine them. These patterns could be derived from the connective tissue of the city, for example a motor-way, a railway network or a street pattern. Equally they could be derived the branching of a tree, the migratory route of birds, a river drainage basin or a vascular network. I see the city as much an organism as an animal or plant and as much an ecosystem as a rainforest. My work is derived from the language of depiction as much from what is depicted. Representations from cartography, biology, anatomy, cosmology and ethnographic, architectural, historical ornament form a great part of my raw material.
The technique of isolating of an element; removing it from its context allows the combining of fragments from different systems and is part of an ongoing practice of what I call 'relational or recombinant taxonomy. This bringing together of disparate structures, rescaled and recontextualised into the same artwork is a search for underlying similarities not immediately apparent. It is motivated by an intuition that under the diversity and complexity of things there are deeper sets of relationships that if followed far enough ultimately connect to the same source.