Some time ago I found myself unaccountably fascinated by footpaths and gateways – the power of their eroded surfaces to reveal a history of use. Over the last few years I’ve also been making collages from 1930’s postcards and contemporary images. Elizabeth Grotz talks about the latency of the past impacting the present to open up possibilities for new futures.(1) I seem compelled to link past and present. I find this interconnectivity comforting – a hint of the past living on in the present.
I thought the link might be marginality – abandoned things marooned in a sea of lost purpose – but now suspect it’s concerned with liminality.
In recent photographic work, I get on a train which removes me from the version of myself that lives at home. Somewhere during the journey I transmute into artist professional. Between these two points, I’m freed from myself, lulled into a semi-meditative state by the journey so images made at this point can capture this feeling of liminality. In my collages, one part of the raw material is tethered to the 1930’s and the other to 2015. This allows me to enter a space of temporal liminality where the potential of what’s made is open-ended and anything becomes possible. My fascination with footpaths and gateways also links to time-based liminality. I think the effect can be multiplied, so for example the different identities of the women portrayed in the images I use create their own liminal impact.
The subject matter, concepts and materials I’m drawn to are ones with some kind of tension in them where they’re tethered to apparently contradictory positions and where I feel compelled to explore what happens in the liminal space in-between.
Any liminal state can only exist for a short time before everything finds itself dumped back into reality.
Most work will be altered by the liminal experience; it emerges in a different position than before.
1 Grosz, E. (2004). The nick of time politics, evolution & the untimely. USA: Duke University Press.