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Camera Lucida iv
This exhibition is a unique combination from three series created in the last ten years, Natural Magic, (2009) Jacobites by Name (2015) and Camera Lucida (2012). These works explore very different themes: visual psychology and the history of stereoscopic photography in Natural Magic; the legacy of the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and ’45 in Jacobites by Name, and themes of ageing and loss in Camera Lucida.
However they are united by common themes – an abiding interest in the play of light and its poetic resonance in photographic art; the exploration of three-dimensional and two-dimensional space through the combination of light and stereoscopic techniques whose historical precedence inform the subject of the artwork, and an invitation to the viewer to participate in an open-ended visual dialogue where layers of meaning are gradually discerned and a process of transformation occurs where everyday objects are juxtaposed with appropriated painted imagery.
Camera Lucida vii
Natural Magick 3
…message in a bottle
When I a few years ago added clay to the list of materials I use in my artwork it was mainly to create 3D bases for my mosaic work. I ended up also designing a bottle frame as an accompaniment, which I have since used in combination with fused glass to create wonderfully transparent and colourful glass/ceramic bottles.
When invited to show my work at the Pittenweem Arts Festival 2019 I saw a great opportunity to develop the bottle theme further linking the bottle to the sea and exploring the concept of: a message in a bottle.
Other mosaic pieces are linked to the sea and seascapes through colours and materials which meticulously blends to create my personal style of contemporary mosaic work. Besides various mosaic glass and recycled slate I also use sea glass in my work – pieces of broken glass bottles weathered by the elements and stranded on the beach, which is where I find them and from which I create a new ……. message in a bottle!
On an artistic and personal level, the theme, message in a bottle, also tells the story of where I currently find myself as an artist. Having previously been satisfied creating beautiful pieces based on materials and textures alone and leaving the observer multiple angles of interpretation I have lately found a greater need for my work also to express more about how I feel and see the world; for this reason I have found the message in a bottle a great subject matter.
The questions I ask are if the message in the bottle is about hope or despair or perhaps both? Is the bottle lost or found? Is the message in the bottle or the bottle itself, linking this to the large number of bottles floating around in the oceans?
I am delighted to be exhibiting at Pittenweem Arts Festival and to be part of its lively and varied programme. The invitation to be a guest artist at the festival has offered me the welcome opportunity to exhibit new ceramic works produced during a recent research and development period generously funded by Creative Scotland. The project allowed me time to explore scale and colour within my work, to develop new surface qualities and to further experiment with inter-connectiveness and the relationship between form and pattern within my ceramic practice.
Within my work I aim to celebrate ornament and the desire to collect, to hold and to display. I am passionate about making, about process and the skill that surrounds the hand made. I work intuitively with the material, retaining the immediacy of the hand drawn mark and striking a balance between considered planning and creative flow.
I am predominantly concerned with the relationship between pattern and form and this has been a constant, significantly underlining my work in which ideas of dynamic interplay between form and surface develop.
By integrating drawing, surface mark making and volume I play with the balance of space and pattern alongside hue and texture on both the decorated and void surface areas. Exquisite attention to detail and finish and a fresh approach to the integration of form and pattern is still a fundamental theme in my work as this is essential to expressing my creative voice.
The ceramics that I will be exhibiting at Pittenweem will include larger statement pieces and smaller works that explore my signature style of graphic pattern on clear-cut forms.