I am finding that I am once again returning to the philosophies behind the different historical avant-garde movements. In particular, the aesthetics and thinking behind Constructivism seem especially appropriate for my interest. I tend to do a fair amount of thinking before starting out on a series. Not that any of it necessarily translates into the final aesthetic of the work, but the thinking does lay out a substantial amount of foundational thoughts that could mirror or perhaps oppose the eventual outcome of my investigation.
After a long hiatus from painting, priming and sanding my ply surfaces already puts me in a highly anticipatory state. At times, perfecting my surface preparation procedure honestly does gives me goosebumps, in that it feels as if the work has already been birthed. This gives me a much needed momentum. A fine blank slate for new engagements.
I seldom really know what I am doing, until I begin 'trying'. And then I realise how many times I have to work and rework a shape, image, or colour, before I can be mildly satisfied. The more I 'try', the more my intentions become apparent to myself. It is often in this process of reworking these elements obsessively, that revelations as to the 'why' of the project are further clarified.
Prior to making the work, I take myself out on a lot of field trips to spy on sites. I have been snapping construction shots from both street level as well as from the topmost level of public flats, giving me access to wonderful views of the transient infrastructure within these spaces. I have also been taking lots of measurements of safety and warning signs surrounding these spaces and strategically stationing myself at site entrances, to the bewilderment of these construction workers.
Generally, I start by immersing myself in environments of interest, or around images of the like, before I begin thinking about how I feel towards the subject. In this case, the subject being the building process, the aesthetics that define it, its social reality and the way we choose to engage, or dis-engage with it. Judgments aside, what can be acknowledged is its transitory state, undeniably in process to a permanent form. This permanent form, being something of the future.
It feels strange then if I were to think through my actions thoroughly, to pour so much effort into documenting something that was temporary. I asked myself why I thought this period to be important. The only answer I could muster, was the blatant obvious. This was the Now.
So much has been said about remembering the past or looking ahead to our future. Very important issues indeed. But what I find myself being concerned with, is how we mark the present. In thinking about this, I began pondering what the archaeological remains of the present might be, which is an oxymoron if one considers the hermeneutics of such terms, but therein lies the approach that is not dissimilar to how we often see the present through our past histories and future hopes. In considering the archaeological present, we too begin to look towards the future, and then back on the past. So along with the direction of this thinking, this 'past' is that which will then constitute our current times.
With these lenses, I hope to reduce the visual language that subsumes these transient sites to colour, texture, and form, so as to construct a way of recording and associating with this spatial activity. I have begun by imprinting and documenting patterns and shapes that strike me as having distinct narratives, in terms of it being an abstract of an object which has a necessary function and thus, a longstanding presence within these spaces.
In my two most recent works above, I worked with reflective surfaces and the inherent geometry of crane structures. These elements are isolated and re-presented to form part of a collection of found aesthetics. If looked upon by one of a different space and time, the collection may be studied (if one so wished) to properly identify a very particular assortment of construction spaces.
Thoughts about things.