John Christopher Lavell


'Every Contact leaves a trace'- Locard's Exchange Principle My practice exhibits parallels between criminal forensics and the creative process. These are areas where intuition and abduction are combined, with absence and presence often being of equal importance. The works produced from this co-optive encounter are pierced, punctured or hammered sheets of white paper. There is a marked tension between the quietness of the work and the premeditated violence used to create them. In the field of forensics (and criminal profiling) investigators attempt to re-create the past or a profile, using traces and fragments to create a whole, to find what is seen as the 'truth.' [the] 'relational problem, the endlessly absorbing search for reconciliation between the fragment and the whole.' (Thompson, 1999:24) '[Forensic science is] marked by uncertainty to a greater or lesser degree. But that is the lot of any pursuit of knowledge when verging on the ultimate ...forensic science is bottomed on a combination of rest and motion' (Nordby & James, 2003: vii.)This 'rest and motion' the constant movement between states, the tensions inherent in forensic practice and profiling, the attempts to reconstruct a whole from fragmentary evidence, I strongly feel relate to notions of the sublime and the inexpressible. The tension and contradiction in these areas it could be argued, generates an ambiguous space where notions about thought, science, the physical, the abstract, time, creativity and truth can be re-evaluated, distorted, manipulated into new forms or left to endlessly sway between absolute definitions. This space perhaps '...represents pure tolerance, a diversity-embracing logical blindness...' (Geberth, 1996:136) Geberth, V. J. (1996) Practical Homicide Investigation. CRC Press. Nordby, J.J. & James, S. (2003) Forensic Science. CRC Press. Thompson, J. (1999) Sublime: The Darkness and The Light. Hayward Gallery Publishing. read full statement

Location Newcastle upon Tyne, North East