It is an ongoing struggle for me to define the different parts of my practice so that I can provide a clear explanation of what I do. I think the practice can be divided into two parts: Re-Presentations and Presentations, but what do these words mean and how do they impact my work?
The collages I make (below) are Re-Presentations of a place that I know (the North Norfolk coast). I have been seeing, hearing and touching it for the past 20 years. These experiences have lodged themselves into my mind, been tossed around and come out the other end expressed as objects in material form. They are Re-Presentations, of my noticings, of things that have existed or still do exist.
Re- Presentation: Quay, Mixed media collage ( Inspired by memories of a walk along the quay at Wells-next-the Sea, Norfolk)
On the other hand, works like the Salt Wall (below) or the Time pieces I wrote about in the last post are Presentations of an idea. They are the result of my thinkings and ponderings. The works spring directly from ideas and are not inspired by ‘things’ that exist in any tangible, audible or visible form. These works come from my imagination (although of course my experiences feed my imagination) and their form is an abstract expression of those ideas.
Describing the difference between figurative and abstract art in his book Abstract Art, Mel Gooding expresses the notion that:
‘figurative works represent an image to the eye and abstract works represent an idea to the mind’
The Presentation of these works are for me a visual expression of an ‘idea of my mind’.
The trouble with definitions comes in the cross over between the two halves. At what point does a Presentation become a Re-Presentation and vice-versa …… ?