Silent Passage, Solo Exhibition University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada Little Gallery, University of Calgary, Canada. 6 Dec 2002 - 9 Jan 2003
I was invited to hold a solo exhibition by the University of Calgary, and produced new work that further developed research themes first explored in the series Shipwreck and previously in The Last Trace. Selection was made from a larger body of my work submitted to the curatorial team, led by Professor Gerald Hushlak, in conjunction with the University of Calgary’s Exhibitions Committee. Hushlak, a prominent Canadian artist and curator, has shown internationally, eg. the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris, and the Arnolfini, Bristol.
The 14 selected hand printed C type prints, size 20” x 24” examine notions of the fragility of the artefact on the threshold of destruction, elaborating further the idea of relic as repository of memory. Research was conducted into the significance of the construction and depiction of memory and loss within the still life genre.
My work was influenced by the literature of Sebald, Proust and artist Robert Smithson’s writings on ‘Spiral Jetty’ – “ we return to our origins, …. I was slipping in and out of myself again, dissolving into a unicellular being….’(quote in Gary Shapiro’s Earthwards, Robert Smithson and Art After Babel, 1995).
This series explores the environment of the ship-breaker's yard: images of artefacts which represent the stranded, punctured, corroded and wounded. I question the ways in which time and memory are encoded in our perception of everyday things; that objects are silent, charged ingredients, elegiac in their stillness. The systematically constructed images are not specifically locatable in time or place, but convey a generalised sense of the past. Imbued with feelings of absence, presence, familiarity, and loss, the photographs present a paradoxical juxtaposition of moving backwards and forwards in personal time.