Getting into a good place with these.
I'm making assemblages, or relief panels. Sculpture doesn't seem a totally apt description & I love the word assemblage. It's what we do with ourselves every day; we assemble ourselves, not just before leaving home, but from the moment we wake up. Every day. Description wise, relief sculpture might do it & that's good too as these pieces project almost box like from a flat base - either from wall of table top or both, a plinth against a wall would be perfect - but they definitely have a 'side' from which I imagine the constructions project. Relief panels and assemblages, that's what I'm making and for me this seems like a very natural and obvious way of working. I've also been thinking about constructing stages and theaters, of proscenium arches and scenery, of dioramas and myriorama and of narratives and drama. Collage constructions. Assemblages. I'm making.
I was having a chat to a friend the other day - who's name is "Friend" - when suddenly Friend is all "Wtf is with the palm trees babe??"
Me: What palm trees??
Me: ...? Tropical paradise babe.
Me: Semiotics, babe. (Boom!)
Friend: Ah yes something something (I not listening)
Me: And I kinda like how sometimes there's just one thing on its own. Just sticking out on its own. Or a mass planting of identikit palm trees, and palm trees are so banal but a group is either signifying jungle (malevolent) or oasis (mirage) that rationally indicates either weird-universe-random or the deliberately positioned but to what intent, obscuring? Palm trees are very reliable, everyone knows them, they usually might represent easy times. South Pacific paradise. The colours are certainly saturated, which is a good word to describe a lot of what I'm doing. Saturated, focused; from the intensity of my work practice to the magnification, the concentration of emotion into pictures, a blurring of details by overprocessing, separating singular elements and blowing them out of proportion just like human responses often are, doing things over and over again, belaboring a limited palette of images in hope of finding out WHY. But the odds are off as to any real explanation, I'm more assembling together words/notions into a sentence or phrase or as a picture, just to see them exist.
So, I've got typical/stereotypical Tropical/European romantic landscapes, cut into or seperated, pried apart, but the planes are skewed, the face of the work is angled, they're not even or following any expected trajectory. And they're like stage flats, the rich colours create a sense of depth but there is clearly NO real depth here at all. They're flats. See, landscape is where the heart of darkness is. To look inside is impossible, its unknowable, scary, and definitely a bit wrong, somehow; hubris to presume one even could. So I stay with a romantic, fecund earth & there's these natural world land formations & undulations that ripple along like a graph line and these allude to depth but they clearly aren't deep at all, its all just surface stuff, and then there's this palm tree. Just 'there'. Y'know? So the landscape is both decorative and heavy, babe, with meanings; it's hiding darkness and being darkness and is jagged and rolling on and mirroring and stretching, but the palm tree has a suburban like familiarity....The palm tree is a sentinel? I don't know, its just resonating somehow & I haven't seen it through to the end yet. So I don't know. And the palm trees don't know either so don't ask them.
Friend: Wow. You're really clever.
I swear to God.
Its been a good month for studio work.