The remains comprising our present-day environments are overlaid with a weave of unremembered lives, narratives and events, which in a moment can be revealed through even the most mundane objects and surroundings. My work seeks to explore these revelations, through the use of text, movement, image and sound.
My passion for the past extends to archaeology, and whereas archaeology is concerned with the study and interpretation of the past through its material remains (artefacts, inscriptions, buildings etc.) my interest as an artist includes those 'remains' which are immaterial; things which have not survived, which even in their own time were only ever fleeting; the one-time presentness of the past and the unrecorded everydayness of the world, as witnessed by those now lost within the pages of history.
The difference between the past and present might well be vast (not only in terms of temporal distance but in the manner in which we live our lives), yet sunlight and shadows, the feel of the wind and the sound of it blowing through the trees are all things which have remained unchanged and which can, despite their transience, bridge a gap of centuries.
As we move in the spaces left between the remnants of the past, we move, in part, under the influence of those remains (artefacts, inscriptions, buildings etc.), encumbered with our own present-day fears, full of our own hopes and memories, just like those who knew those same remains (ruins and broken pieces of pottery) when they, like the past, were intact. The present becomes a means of filling in the gaps, not so as to recreate a picture of the past, but to re-imagine the past as having once been present.
The way we stoop, to read an inscription on a wall, scratched by a prisoner hundreds of years ago, brings us through a kind of kinaesthetic empathy, closer to that lost individual. The way we stand again, turn and catch the sky through the cell window brings the past and present closer together. The way we interact with artefacts, buildings and places in the nowness of present, reminds us that the past too was once the present, that people were like we are today; people who experienced the world, however different it might have been, as we do ourselves.
My aim then is to make works which explore both the material and immaterial past. To look at the past through the lens of the present and re-witness artefacts, inscriptions and places, not so as to recreate the past, but to understand its presentness – the very fact it happened; to see the past not only through the play of its remains and my imagination, but also through the play of the present day and my embodied mind.