Through my work I deliberately play between the recognizable, or ‘known’ which victor Burgin calls ‘the already seen’, and the merging of real experience. For example, as resident artist on Pontypridd Railway Station I used many elements from the film ‘Brief Encounter’ to re-imagine the disused buffet; this tapped directly into peoples’ perception (and my own) of what a station buffet looked like. I really enjoy this play between creating something I mean to be sincere, whilst being largely based on second-hand experience.
Other examples of works several steps removed from the original are my re-working of old horticultural images, where the colour plates are already unrecognizable as straight photographic representations, and closer to an imagined Technicolor world. These works include paintings reworked from colour plates: a video entitled ‘Plate 4’ where I create a filmic fantasy derived from a colour plate, and for my recent project, ‘310’ I fabricated flowers from paper to adorn a hotel room and create filmic settings.
A few years ago, when I documented prize-winning flower growers to create the ‘Winter Garden’, I was aware of the contradictions between the gardeners’ cultivation practices, which are anything but naturalistic, and the resulting archetypal flowers which are those recognizable through nostalgia, like Tea Roses. I see a close correlation here between my floral representations and the hybrids grown through force, into being exactly what the growers want them to be, which is ‘an image of perfection’?.
Somewhere in this mix of artifice I aim to reproduce an enhanced sense of the original and, I hope, something of the sentiment we attach to the original.
- 2009 310, g39, Cardiff
- 2007 All Over The Shop, Pontypridd
- 2007 Parclife, Penpont, Brecon