Artists Statement 1997
I WILL LOOK FIERCELY INTO NOTHINGNESS AND PLEDGE FRATERNITY WITH IT, THAT I MAY PERCEIVE NO FURTHER HUMAN TRACES WHEN, AT LAST, IT SEIZES ME TOO.
John Paul (Collected Works).
This series of images, forms part of a larger body of work, which were taken from a seat left ‘in memoriam’, for Helen, who loved this spot. The specific site of significance for the memorial is/was Hartland, Devon, however the specific location is symbolic of thousands of other monuments to the dead. Each image is created from the same bench, but each could be other moments of exposure, indecisive moments. Thus, this exhibition is a monument to the unknown.
In my pilgrimage to this spot I represent my personal temporality. Just as the seat is a memorial to Helen’s temporality, it is also a memorial marking its own transience, which becomes the audiences. My personal leisure time is displayed in random moments, the fleeting collusion of moment, photographer and event. Thus, the images reflect in this instance the banality of art in place of the experiential, the omnipresence of the image to be there, to be purely optical and ultimately mute and our willingness to be comprehensively deceived by their reality.
It is therefore my proposition that in presenting the tangible, what we are left with is the intangible, the unspoken, the unseen the etc. The etc of grief, loss, and the lack of descriptors for that experienced. This project was conceived ultimately with the initial idea that grief is only the beginning of a road, which stretches on for years. Helen’s Seat provides a place for reflection, a plateau, a commemoration of something temporal, a mark or this spot, but its true purpose is Herstory.
Or for the collectors - simply clouds, an objective series of optical/chemical reproductions. A scientific panoply of cumulus, nimbus, stratus etc, literal representations of the phenomenal world.
ExhibitionUniversity of Plymouth May 1997