“Self Portrait #1”

1 11 2014

The column is roughly my height, and probably about my weight. The sides and front aspects are intended to present an organised, if slightly fluffy, face to the world, although the apparent softness in texture, caused by wood splintering out from the back of saw cuts, is in reality not soft at all, but potentially hazardous, like a prickly caterpillar. However, if you take the trouble to walk around to the back, it’s true form is revealed as higgledy-piggledy, chaotic and hopelessly disorganised.

Like geological strata, the layers contain a sort of historical record, although one that is open to many possible interpretations. They’re made predominantly from about fifteen different types of timber from my collection. Some are found, some given, some have sentimental value, but all have a story attached. There’s some beautiful reclaimed timber in there, including oak, purple heart and cedar, as well as some throwaway scraps of plywood, cardboard, and off-cuts of material from a shirt I had made in India; quite a mixed bag of very personal connotations and meanings. I hope that their assembly brings them new life, awakens them.

Art, like life, is an evolutionary process. It doesn’t spring into existence fully formed, but develops out of the ideas, materials, techniques, and human stories that have gone before. Layer upon layer builds up, and the result can only be properly understood by comprehending the result as a whole, noticing which elements reinforce each other, and which elements stand out in stark contrast. It’s all about context.

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