Choosing what to call a show is a daunting experience, particularly because you need to find a description that can be applied to what your work is about and that makes people think. How does that work?
There are so many ways that my work can be broken down from my almost scientific approach, my use of materials or colour, or the plethora of inspirations that drive me to create more work. It was key for me to find something that would bring together my petri latex series with my oil works on paper.
I considered a lot of words and spent time looking at base words, synonyms, antonyms and so on. I wanted something that was more than just a word or phrase, it needed to be evocative and to create a sense of wonder. Hopefully something that would draw people in to want to find out more.
As is often my way I looked up and considered space for inspiration. I’d been awed by the recent pictures of Jupiter taken by the NASA mission, Juno, which show a whole new level of detail about what is an intriguing and wondrous planet. Read more about this on the NASA website
This led me to the firmament which has biblical origins but which speaks of something that transcends a singular way of thinking. What is it? Is it real? Is it an emotion? Can it be pinned down to something. The description I like the most is also the simplest:
Firmament. (Noun) the vault of heaven; sky.
There is something quite beguiling about this description, in some ways its quite definite and in others it’s really abstract and colossal. I find that tension between it being something and nothing quite exciting.
This led me to think of the curvature of space and how, apart from a handful of people, we are unable to see the point at which the atmosphere dissipates and is replaced by the vastness of space. One of my aims in life is to see that for myself one day (here’s hoping).
This indeterminable edge often features in my work, for example, with the petri latex series the dish itself is quite definite but what happens inside it is more free and less simple to define, are you seeing into something, a portion of something or a whole object in itself? This is something that I hope that people viewing my work consider whether consciously or not.
The soft curve that I see when I think of the firmament is also evident in my works on paper and I’m creating a new series of work which feature an edge, whether subtle of quite clearly. The movements attempting to capture energy on either side of this divide.
Hopefully this idea will excite others as much as it excites me in the run up to the show, running from the 27th to the 29th of October in Nottingham. Check out the event on facebook for more updates! Firmament Solo Show on Facebook