A Language of Contemporary Art

(As reflected in relevant articles, books, texts and exhibitions)

This exploration into the language of contemporary art has a number of origins and was done for several reasons.

Its origins stemmed from my decision, several years ago, to delve into contemporary art: in terms of trying to understand it better; in terms of trying to get a sense of how it was being talked about in articles, books, exhibition texts etc; and in terms of wanting to test out my own capabilities in ‘doing art’ and ‘making art’.

The starting framework for this was also a deep interest in modes of learning, and how a particular outcome might be got to by various routes – including putting together my own art curriculum (culled from the Foundation, Degree and Masters curricula of a range of universities in this country and elsewhere – selecting the elements and approaches that I felt most interested in personally pursuing in my own ways and against my own timescales). This is described elsewhere. One unit of my constructed self-learning programme was a better understanding of the language of art, in general, and contemporary art in particular.

A further driver was an interest in language and its uses. My own inclination was less in terms of looking to establish precise dictionary-type definitions, and more in terms of the flexible (and often contradictory) ways that words were used in practice. This looked for an opening up, rather than a defining down, of understandings. A specific example of this was my doctorate in sociology, which looked at the ways the concept of Community was constructed by various groups (residents, community workers, local politicians, national policy makers, academics, writers) and how various elements of meaning were differentially strung together as chains of understanding by these different groups – and how these understandings could form broad constellations of sense-making at different times or in different contexts.

In practical terms, I had to hand 50 pieces of written material from art exhibitions across the past 25 years; more than 100 newspaper and magazine articles from across the period from 1990 to the present; more than 100 books on art since 1945; a watch-later library of more than 40 YouTube videos on aspects of contemporary art –  ie a rich and varied source of ways that people wrote and spoke about late-modern/contemporary art.

The job was to make some sense of all of this, for my own better understanding.

This was primarily done to fulfil part of the learning commitment I had made to myself, and also for the sheer enjoyment of attempting to think through some new topic.

A second reason emerged the more I thought about things. This was to see if the various statements gleaned from the numerous wide-ranging texts could suggest any recurring categorisations that could be used as headings to make some initial sense of things, The headings I used thus arose out of the thinking being done. These broad working categorisations, which were by no means mutually exclusive, were:

Artistic Approaches

Contents and Intentions

Artistic Mechanisms

Curating and Exhibitions

Identities and Portraitures

Narratives and Meanings

Ambiguities and Realities

Cities and Places

Memories and Histories

Fragments, Layers and Multiplicities

Each section contains numerous phrases that were things in the articles/books that struck me as interesting. These are fragments and part-phrases rather than full sentences. These listed phrases-of-interest are not in any specific order. A number of the phrases could equally be relevant to other headings. Sometimes phrases clumped together, more often they did not. They are certainly not intended to form a linear narrative, but simply to sit as fragments, any of which might trigger some response in the reader. There are many fragments, so many possibilities for thoughts being triggered – so any reader might begin to construct their own chains of ideas, building into a potential narrative that begins to make some sense to that person.

The fragments and the headings then became some kind of Thinking Framework – something that would spur further intellectual exploration – or that might trigger ideas to inform my own making of art.

This is my interpretation of the information from my particular set of sources. Others may construct things differently, from other sources. Another approach might throw up different headings, different ways of selecting and arranging phrases, different chains of meaning and different constellations of understanding. This is my constructed thinking tool It is up to me to make of it what I can. As I scan through it from time to time, certain things catch my eye and set trains of thought going. Similarly, it is up to other people to engage or not; and to make their own connections, linkages and uses.

What follows is my first attempt at putting the Thinking Framework together. It can be considered as an act of creativity at a number of different levels. It is a work in progress. As I read more, more ideas will seem worth including, but I don’t aim for it to go on forever. I am more interested in getting to a sufficiency level, where it can be something adaptable, yet fit-for-purpose, for me to use in various ways in order to progress my own learning about contemporary art and, potentially, my own practical art working.

Readers should feel free to use this Thinking Framework in whatever way they may find helpful. Its source should be quoted whenever it is shared with others.

(Note: The source of each phrase is not listed. This is a personal exploration not an academic article requiring specific references. Nor is it an attempt at originality, attempting to pass other’s words off as my own. The whole basis is that these are fragments of words as used by many others – few of which are specific insights unique to that writer. In a small number of cases, the artist source in included in brackets, simply for interest).


‘What’s the point of it?’ ‘It is what it is, and nothing else’

Art must be good for you

Art can take you anywhere; Getting lost in art is no bad thing, so long as there is some glimmer of escape

Art offers particular ways of seeing the world; Visualising alternatives; Open to different perspectives; Entrances to other worlds; Draws you in with its rich and powerful intimacy; Strangely, quietly seductive

Commitment is not to Knowing but to Not Knowing

Art is about things you don’t know, that haven’t been noticed; So familiar we no longer think about them

Art is about what is absent; left out, left unseen; Interrogates what it means to be human in 21st century

Artworks are Manifestos, in a way

Contemporary art is not just bits of flotsam and jetsam – criteria do exist eg Does it pose interesting questions? Do material, form and conceptual element work well together? Does it achieve (on its own terms)?

‘There are only a few people who can say something about art’ (Anselm Keifer)

Art is not necessarily for all; but for those who think it is for them (Bismuth)

You can make art out of anything; Anything can be art

‘Anyone can be an artist’ (J Beuys)

If you try to become an artist, then you become one

Every artist is a human being

Artist as prankster; producing toys for the world

There is a glut of art, with only the flashiest surviving – yet it is not really about insider-recognition, sales/prices etc; May be about what leaves some lasting imprint on others

Contemporary art can only be defined through multiple concepts since it is not a singular phenomenon

Contemporary art is a multifaceted, complex and contested phenomenon. So many artists making so much art in so many different ways – no one can possibly make sense of it all

Brings together diverse practices; A confounding diversity of modes; constantly on the move. Doesn’t have to be stylistically incoherent; Can stick eg to figurative painting, but with some extra element in it – allowing for a myriad of narratives

Maintains a fluid approach … keeping the practice open … making each body of work different from the last

An expansive way of working; demonstrates the range of her practice

Less about ‘heroic’ artist – succeeding or failing – more about how art gets culturally produced (recognising the agency of the artist … cf death of the artist)

There is no isolated artist: are part of a mesh of exhibitions, curation, academia, enthusiasts, other artists … which leads to complexities and contradictions

A growing ambition to deploy art’s capacity to be multiple things at once (aesthetic experience; civic proposition; philosophical enquiry; luxury commodity etc)

Is there no end to the cultural references thought to be appropriate for art?


Embraces the potential of collaboration (across artistic boundaries)

Works are bound up with the matter of thinking and talking, and a certain way of looking at the world; Creating an entrance for the imagination

Things not looked at closely; more glimpsed … with art as a way of seeing the world

Art is on a spectrum (too simple/too difficult)

Society changes, and art changes with it

Art’s meaning keeps changing, as its (expandedly globalised) context changes

Offers works that are as provisional and unfixed as the futures she imagines

Art has histories but not fixed definitions

For some art, you need to know a whole backstory in order to understand it

Imagine what art might be, in relation to all history and all culture; compared with narrow identity-based art

Relationship to art itself – its contradictions, the way it is structured. Art as a living organism. Art that elicits dialogue

Elusiveness and complexity can come across as willfuly obscure and self-regarding; or can act as an open-ended diagram of real-world complexities

Seems to be speaking a private language that only the artist understands

Art is the simple expression of complex thought ; Art is a way of thinking things through; Art is the means by which life reflects on, transforms, and indeed creates, its values

I see my work as participating in a cultural discourse; another position from which to engage with asking questions about art.

Artist can turn their referential gaze inwards, revisiting own creative history, as a strategy for moving forward

Desire to communicate a direct experience, rather than create a mere representation of it

Art is a way of exploring the world, a form of thinking in materials ….

Much contemporary art is concerned with social commentary and the primacy of idea over object

Art makes us appreciative, aware, think, connected, intelligent, curious, expressive

Artists don’t think as we do

The way meaning is derived from the work is closer to poetry than to prose

Heightened awareness of how we respond to immediate (and imagined) situations

Creative for 30 minutes/day; rest = doing what’s needed to make that creativity visible

Value the specific experience of a work; not what ought to think; or some theoretical premise

My paintings are fragments of the world and I’m simply digging them up and presenting them

Institutional critique is an influential tendency. Performances that intervene directly in the art world’s various structures, rituals and routines ; Guides for hire adopting authoritative voice to give (fake) gallery talks

Exploring the quirkiness of British culture.

Richly inventive; It has to have strong ideas otherwise we would get bored with it; turning improbable ideas into art

Belief in the alchemical power of art to transform things

Politically-engaged art does not need to enter the world of politics; can be provocation

Outlandish and confrontational projects/ activities. Is it really about trying to be more shocking than others – confronting taboo subjects? Push beyond the limits of conventional taste/comfort and achieve some kind of freedom (often by working on own body/ other person’s body); Issues of viewer complicity

Awkward territory – where ugliness, irritation and shock are legitimate, even necessary components of meaningful work; Art that circumvents narrative and conventional logic, to communicate on a gut level

No arguments to make; no axes to grind; no theory to elaborate; no statement about the state of art today – just there in its own right; just the art itself

Separate from popular culture, but draws from it

Nuanced ways of rethinking cultural histories

Accentuating some aspects, whilst softening/disguising others

Subtle interventions, contingent on the circumstances of their showing

Makes quiet references to the outside world; Preferring the subtle statement to the grand gesture

Reflects the artist’s identity (and helps shape it); Reflecting the diversities of artist’s practice

Emphasis on processes; Work that is (always) in progress/in the making

If it is the journey not the arrival that matters – we are fortunate, because we never arrive – we pause, we are held in suspense

Exploring the line between ‘being’ and ’performing/creating’

Traces the dance between thought and action

Between the idea and the reality – the shadow falls (TS Eliot, The Hollow Man)

Viewing the commonplace world from an unprivileged position – seeing self as part of those social structures, rather than as separate from them.

People educated to expect artwork to carry a meaning/message … but can be an expression of something – don’t have to know artist’s intention; have to engage with the work – glance at it, study it, photograph it….

The questions that the work addresses and the inventiveness with which they are realised

In order to secure funding an art activity has increasingly been expected to satisfy demands re ‘success’.  If there is no money, there is no expectations around success

Not done to fulfil external expectations

‘I just wanted to do it and get it over with so I could go home and watch TV’ (F Stella)

An artist’s practice is a space for conversation rather than a mode of producing an object (Micheal Krebber)

Fusion of aesthetic exploration, autobiographical reflection and state-of-the-nation commentary

Stripping away aesthetic pretentions to focus on the role and question of art itself

Contemporary art used to be presented defensively; now confidently presented, no matter if viewer-hostile, on assumption that it will be accepted as a worthwhile endeavour

Anything we may wish to contribute has already been done

You think everything has been done, but it’s about new approaches

Knowing what has gone before, we are freed to transcend established formal and conceptual limits; Traces of past thoughts and activity are re-enacted/reanimated in new/unexpected ways; idiosyncratic practice, methodologically and conceptually nomadic; Drawing on the innovations of past movements to kickstart a number of possible futures (Julie Mehretu)

‘Post Movement’ Art: styles/schools fall away, leaving the artist freed/condemned to steer independently – even if ideas recur; pushing outwards

A theory is meaningless without an initial problem – art has theories, but does little work on resolving problems

Navigating my own position; Acts of self-actualisation; Developed a practice known for ….

Value placed on the way the work is produced. Constructivist: function determines form

Conceptual: Uses art to propose certain ideas; Before conceptualism, art meant ‘things’. Object -> Process -> Concept -> ??

Idea of gaze, control, impact of looking

Various turns in art; Turn = impact of key events/activities on artistic approaches – there is a before and an after – artists respond as people in those changing situations, but through the art-based ways they know

Should be something of the real world in the art; should be something of the artist in the art

Art invites scrutiny at micro and macro levels

Concerned with the discernment of ‘difference’, in various forms and degrees

Narratives of struggle and longing; Art that is some sort of anecdote; No consistent voice; the unreliable narrator

Studio = research laboratory in which experiments are done aimed at making discoveries about art

Artistic process of creating memory from research, ideas and studio-work

Speculations and imaginings and improvisations

Artworks as thought experiments

Experimental, emerging, challenging, Innovative … Field work; Forensic … collecting trace evidence

Reimagining art/artworks as an ecosystem …

Envisioning a whole new cosmology with metaphoric complexity and on an epic scale

Deriving credibility from a painstaking attention to detail

Modernists wanted to strip the world of mystery and emotion; Postmodern – reproducibility gives more versions, that makes it more famous

Bulging with connotations, the forms never quite settle on a fixed meaning

Questioning central elements of painting – stretched canvas; hidden supports; actions of painting; subjects chosen etc – challenging the function of the work and what/how it was meant to communicate

Deconstructs contemporary conception of art making: re-examine constituent elements; disrupt contemporary conventions – by playing with triviality/fragility of its assemblage.

Problematic white guys clogging up the artistic canon

Is it time to cancel the ‘great artists’ (of their time) now being held to account –  their art shifted things in the history of art, which needs to still be recognised: making their work more palatable for Generation Z


Themes relevant to today (belonging; inhabiting space; construction of language and cultural traditions; how we relate to each other; what structures hold power etc)

Seeing contemporary landscape and the history that produces it; Contemplating the way things came to be the way they are; Questions the assumptions we make; Raises a number of cultural questions

Exploring obsolete structures; How did we get to where we are now?; Looked at again/afresh through different lenses; Providing some lessons to what is happening now; Interest in social structures and the roles we assume within them

Contemplates change in a progressively complex world … How art can intersect with current social concerns (and integrate into strategies for change); concerned with social injustices; Transformative potential of art

Art trying to express concerns under threat from digital technologies, the power of unchecked capitalism and the dangerous rise of ethno-nationalism

Modernisation and the global contemporary moment; Taking the temperature of contemporary culture in instructive and premeditated ways

Using the tangible to make concerns visible

A holistic exploration of place, memory, migration and identity within a decolonial project

Reinterpreting enduring themes for a generation caught in the whirlwind of ‘progress’

New orientations towards issues and themes; Creating works that grapple with enquiries into issues of control and empowerment; of control and resistances

Ongoing dialogues concerning time, consumption, work, money etc

Ties to the impact of our actions on the environment; Problematic nature of the Anthropocene – focus on materiality; significance of actions; fluctuating relationship to place; use, reuse and adding to ‘stuff’;

A process of accretion over time – themes revisited; It proposes that facets of the work can be understood in relation to ….

Chance, Order, Change; Everything and Nothing; The ordinary and the uncanny

Precarity = permanent instability – sense of collective social anxiety; Questions the fragility of ….

Considerations of the gendered and the contested

Concerns with bodies, stress, class, gender, anxieties, boredom, meeting of public/private

Reflecting consumerism/ postmodern simulacra

Concerned with: Appropriation, detritus, cities, concepts, collaborations, everyday (quotidian), facts/fictions. Identities, installations/arrangements, loss, maps (internal; leading nowhere), memory/reliability, projects/projections, series, sensemaking, sampled

Welfare state; housing boom; permissive society; educational change; motorways; city redevelopment; shopping centres’ TV adverts; new forms of celebrity ….

Collapsing distinctions between work and leisure in late capitalism; role of artist as producer in information/cultural economy;

Themes of emptiness and fullness

Moving between the observational and the speculative; It is the small differences that count; Negative spaces; blanks

Decoded activities; Visual metaphors abound

I think of them as ideas taking physical form that allows them to cast shadows; Drawing from theory and philosophy

Permeability of abstraction into daily life

Telling us some answers, leaving us to make up the questions

Offers no answers: delighting in art’s openness to interpretation

Injects resiliences, resistances and hope into the communities in which we live

Different forms of learning; structures for learning

Still in the process of learning what might be of significance

Agora = spaces of public debate (in era of post-truth)

Employs language and strategies of corporate branding; mainstream news cycles; social media; self-help manuals

Naming of things that don’t yet exist – is a form of embodiment (and can have power to bring them into existence)

M Creed ‘My work is 50% about what I make and 50% about what other people make of it’


Complex immersive installations

Hyperrealistic sculptures of people, who then populate the art space

Sculptural potential of everyday objects; intricate arrangements of worthless things; imbues them with character; engineers a composite picture of a society from which they are drawn

Flimsy sculptures made from unstable materials – soil, powder paint, detergent liquid, Plaster of Paris; Slight sculptural interventions; Sculptures of branches/frames with coloured material strung between

Constructions that are chimera – part animal/ part machine etc; imaginary beings

Bringing fresh energy and vigour to traditional genre of Still Life (Still life is not a realistic rendering – it is a system of objects – a contrived fiction)

Ability to manipulate materials in ways that address the messy realities of life, and expose the world’s underlying fragilities

Obviously machine-made models; testing fears and phobias

Incorporate material that surrounds the works production and use

Uses found objects, images, audio recordings, photos, text, in order to reveal a strangeness in everyday life … fallibility of language, gaps in communication … words (including quotations) as art objects

Found objects/ furniture reshaped. As walk round, from different angles, become aware of different dramas being acted out

Distorting and twisting found objects; Objects in a constant state of flux; things twisted, distorted, exploded, flattened, stretched, melted, mlashed, coated. disintegrated …

Collections of objects laid out as grid on floor– plastic items by colour; contents of parents’ house ….

Use of humble materials (plastic bin bags, chewing gum)

Transforms everyday objects into artworks that feel precarious or threatening

Reconfigures/repurposes commonplace materials to give sculptures that subtly demonstrate the mutability of everyday objects

Selection, collection, assemblage

Things made of practically nothing; Presented in ways that show how they were put together – what enables their creation

Salvaged items; recycled items; reclaimed items; liberated items

City dump = treasure trove. Tiny fragments became his theme and modus operandi.

Abstract works formed from dense aggregates of painted grit and dust.

Something made out of fragments of something else/ other things

Incorporating subject matter from immediate surroundings; emphasising the first-person realities of the individual

Disintegrating previous ways of seeing the world; leading to paying more attention to smaller, more personal, aspects of life; taking a fresh look at the ground beneath our feet; you can find plenty of material with a radius of 1 metre around you

Dragging something magnetic, on a walk, as a way of collecting metal detritus

Till receipts as evidence of commercial transactions; use of prosaic domestic items to underscore a point

Reorganising the everyday world to make us look again at what is taken for granted

Everyday objects converted for artistic use ….. Trying to make something that doesn’t look made; Using what is at hand; Things repurposed

Reproduces/manipulates everyday objects turning them into theoretical conundrums or playful propositions

Transforms mundane, industrial materials into swathes of colour

Combining epic and banal; objects considered trivial and insignificant; Detritus of mass consumer culture; Recycling the detritus of consumer society to make abstract art but also as a critique of society

Pathetic nature of everyday materials can be a strength – not pretending to be anything more grandiose than it is

Can banal no-longer-needed objects be reconfigured so that get rejuvenated?

Locally found materials make each installation unique

Plastic sheeting as a thin membrane between walls, canvases and viewers

Focus on dust on surfaces – reveals its status as an object

Approaching the Web as a medium with the potential to create endless mischievous/disturbing interventions

Simulations eg of online, or other format, games

Use of software to produce art; computer graphics to create spatial works – places one would like to go to but never can

The moment when old technologies began to fade into obsolescence; Interest in technologies that have become obsolete

Use of cheap, disposable technologies to create images that separately may not qualify as Art but collectively form an art work

Spins an associative web between Google searched images – juxtaposed, spliced together, scarred, rescanned, photographed and rephotographed — acts of continual reproduction – distancing the image even further from the object it supposedly indexes

Empties images of any meaning; Makes powerful statements about contemporary image culture

Animations constructed from photographs, scarred images, single frames from video – all blended together; Videos as sequences of stills

Interpolates several scenes

Real-life footage, interwoven with staged scenarios; suggests the set of an imaginary movie; enigmatic tableaux

Tableaux; highly contrived settings made to look superficially simple/normal; can have an atmosphere of creeping menace

Unfolds with an eerie/suspenseful slowness; quiet formal beauty with an edge of anxiety; moody ambiguity – leaving us to ponder the ultimate role/purpose

Intimacy of the images conveys a sense of the artist as an active participant rather than an objective observer

Action ebbs and flows; images are not sequential; fractures in time and space – turning what appears to be documentary into something more open-ended

Video/ film/ photo capturing transient events (eg breath condensing on a piano)

Use of mirrors; mirror ball, shadows etc to reallocate the image to create something more dramatic/theatrical

Contemporary images recontextualised by putting them alongside historical images

Photography can easily be misunderstood as random observation/lucky moments, or as bits of documentation/photojournalism, rather than be seen as Art; intimate with fleeting moments of ordinary beauty

Photos from unusual angles, to produce strange images

Part of photograph, enlarged, rearranged, coloured, photocopied

Simultaneously present us with combinations/recombinations of same objects

Coupling an image and an object (as a pairing on a plain background)

Hybrids of elements taken from different sources (photos; pin-ups etc)

The images can be static, with the accompanying soundtrack providing the momentum

Employs the language of cinema, filmic, in an expanded artistic field

OK to have things out of focus

A series of interlocking vignettes; a set of parallel projections/ multiscreen

Photograph of workspace exploring documentary/abstract monochrome; There is a desk, with a single lamp, and a book that is read from time to time

Performances that then only exist in participants’ photos, videos, written/spoken testimonies

Things emerge via improvisations

The artist activates the installation with performances

Surveillance and propaganda – presented as unfiltered reality, as documentary

Explores and challenges the capacities of the medium

Uses a repertoire of artistic gestures in dialogue with the materials used; Motifs and gestures – springing from myriad sources; With references made to artworks, artists, art histories

A powerful, concise aesthetic vocabulary… that gives shape to the work

Visual syntax; marks that carry enormous narrative weight

A pared-back, minimal aesthetic

Poetic use of form and material

Deliberate use of chance – or reducing the element of chance

Stochastic = pertaining to chance; randomness; conjecture; Gives the work a recognisable edge

Visual language that swings between representation and abstraction

Abstract explorations into colour, line. Form, texture, mark making …

Abstract works have own criteria, through their degree of inner coherence

Fusion of aural and spatial experiences, complicated by including recorded sounds (eg coughs, shuffles, comments)

A dreamscape of music, speed and noise

An audio-walk, with photographs to be used  at various points

Being inside sound machines/ sound suits/ sound rooms – sound installations in public places

Loudspeakers embedded in object; triggered by audience movements or interactions; Speakers arranged to focus sound at a particular spot; creating soundscapes

Hundreds of tiny speakers hung as a swarm, in a darkened room

Incorporating a live broadcast, a published broadsheet, a blog ….

Explores the political properties of sound; using sound effects to help victims of violence to describe their memories – in a process that spans artmaking and activism

Droning voices – as of those giving lectures on art or some other topic

“I think he chose collage because it’s a method that breaks what we normally see or how we normally see, deconstructs it and puts it back together in a way that makes new meaning…He found a way to talk about diversity and a way to talk about fractured cultures, all in collage.”

Layered both flat and textured paper, cutting paper to create fractured spaces and forms

Using mass media; Stacks of daily newspapers – signifiers of the intrusion of corporate reportage into our lives; news feeds; drawings inspired by lurid daily headlines

Transform/modify magazine adverts; manipulate surfaces of eg postcards; collages from tech manuals; altering discarded books – reworked to create city landscapes

Texts from journals; books; references; quotations; Text for people to edit; to add to

Art and writing … writing as art … writing art Using extracts from journals/ photo albums/ home movies

Written confessionals; written pleas; banners/placards; requests

Role of documentation; detailed documentation of various kinds of transformation

Instructions; recipes; algorithms

Diagrams and blueprints; Maps/diagrams reorganised along new lines, to create different understandings; Mapping out a territory

Invented fonts, languages, signage systems …

Geometric prints paired with texts

Makes, manipulates and recontextualised books, paintings, objects, posters

Books slashed/ burned/ torn/ incorporated whole/ embedded

Lists of instructions for performing off-beat tasks

Bizarre, absurdist activities; civic Dada, resting on the nature of collaboration

Humour as a tool for asking questions; Approached with a knowing wit

Copies, replicas. Approximations; Take existing artworks and do alternative versions of them; Appropriation from disparate sources

Different ways of painting: a projection of light; a rivulet of rope, twisting and turning like a huge brushstroke across the floor

Focus on forms, lines, colours, textures, composition and tone; Dynamic rhythms, equilibrium, variations, emphasis, contrast

Warm = near, cold = distant. Gives depth; Vertical = stability; diagonals = emphasis; horizontal = calm

Balance visual weights – tones and colours and contrasts; Point of symmetry/ of equilibrium – needs also variation to give interest

Empty frames; invisible paintings

Monochrome prints of objects on a painted background

Scribble things onto  Post-It notes

Put print/ painting behind eg chicken wire, as a barrier

Drawn from several different angles at once

Drawing/ painting half-dipped into solution (eg paint/oil/soil)

Caricature drawings emerging out of photographs

‘Colour (art?) is not a certainty, but a circumstance’ ; ‘Colour evolves continuously in time and space’ – (Carlos Cruz Diez)

Inspirations come from incidentals eg colours/textures on street

Explore the acts of looking, points of view, dreamy landscapes …

Pictorial language all of her own

Filled boxes become toolkits for artistic thinking

Handmade folders containing small artworks, notes, photographs, documents etc

Organza/Voile dissolves/blurs the distinction between figure and ground

Enormous tapestries, representing things to scale; weaving references into absurd/playful loops and voids

Painting without paint; using a range of alternative materials

Wide range of materials seen as artistic: concrete, foam, papier-mâché, latex/resin, silicone etc

Graphite rubbings that map an entire surface in multiple monochromes

Rendered in unconventional substrates – eg scraps of metal, laminated floor tiles …

Latex used to bind, protect, encase ….Expert in certain chemical processes; Plastic rubbish remodelled (eg via 3D printing)

Interest in duration and entropy – things slowly burn away, rot away, decay

Using weathered materials; alluding to the passage of time; A dramatic sense of wear and tear

Sanding the surface; using bleach to alter colours; scraping the surface away – then adding text, colour, shape …

Auto destructive art: spraying acid on it; works that consume themselves (cf preservation/permanence)

Using science as part of the work; Setting up a research station; Field studies; field guides; instruction manuals

The best conceptual art comes up with ideas that continue to develop richly in viewer’s mind cf being just an idea, with no kind of resonance – doesn’t need to be rarefied

Conceptually-driven work that engages techniques of copying, repetition, reenactment – often coalescing in materially sumptuous objects.


Transient events are still events

It can be spectacle and entertainment or ritualistic and ceremonial displays; but has to keep a place for things that refuse to fit neat templates – including the ‘This is an exhibition’ template. Problematise W. European/US models of the ‘exhibition’

Aim of exhibition is to create something both visually stimulating and thought provoking

Digging out stories from previous works/ previous exhibitions

Each show made afresh each time because of different locally-found contents

Building a rigorous structure through which to explore the works; or knocked together; lashed together

Work is deliberately fragmented and non-linear, rejecting a sequencing of history or uncovering of a single truth

Almost algorithmic in composition

A range of modalities

Combines artistic, discursive, curatorial practices – as distinct from thematic curated shows with works selected to illustrate topic/theme

A thread that runs throughout; A tone is established; Have a lens through which to view the exhibition

There are always decisions about what to exclude. Art is all about you … your brain; your world; the tensions between things …. Allows people the chance of having an idea of something they may never realistically think about 

Better have something to say; better than having nothing to say

Thrown away the rulebook that governs museum-style displays

I want to invade the museum. That’s the whole treason I make my work

Not a sales pitch or a lecture – more a series of dialogues/ extended conversations around specific topics

Dual role of artist and curator; Carries the career of the artist; Implications for own artistic practice

The idea of the curatorial; The curatorial field; The curatorial discourse

Seemingly modest exhibition bursting with a range of ….

Series of installations that intersect the gallery space in different ways to create bespoke environments for consideration of each idea

Focus on deconstructing/reforming the mechanisms through which art is administered/shown; not displaying art as discrete images/objects, but intervening in the real/public world (reshaping the space). Making the display mechanisms visible.

Remodelling of gallery space – as swimming pool (Elm green & Dragset), as snack bar (J Deller)

Changing the layout; opening hours of gallery etc

Exhibition: leaving the walls empty; hanging everything elsewhere; Exhibit the gallery wall as a work of art; or the empty gallery; or locked gallery – directing visitors elsewhere

Exhibition piece made by drilling into, digging up, transforming the gallery floor, walls etc

Constructing space as a cave or landscape – surfaces plastered with images or filled with monitors

Light that emerges through cracks in surfaces

Probing the cracks in ‘reality’; prompting viewers to question our own role in its construction/existence

A dense and forbidding labyrinth of rooms/corridors, furnished with a range of locally-found objects; looking as if assembled by some long-gone resident

A meandering complex, rife with intimations of ….

Strange artefacts stacked up against other paraphernalia, without evoking any specific narrative, it has an atmosphere of a permeable border between reality and simulation, public and private, the ordinary and the occult/eerie/ uncanny

Stretched ropes, to break up interior spaces

Installation of large-scale machinery; slides/ rollercoasters; twists of wood/ metal. Fabric that fill the space; Barriers erected that have to be negotiated

A suite of new and recent works; first major solo exhibition; extends his ongoing investigations into ….

Large, rambly installations; Work that surrounds and subsumes the viewer

A degree of flexibility that allows the work to be reconfigured each time it is shown; reappearing in different versions of itself

Works presented as components in a grouping of systems; a totality that is not about balance or a final idea – but something in which things are happening ,slowly; aesthetically

A number of works that, taken together, seem to describe a scenario resulting from violent disorder, or the aftermath of a crime/conflict/disaster; a vision of a world where objects, images and ideas do not seem to fit together yet are forced into close proximity

Sequencing and layering of icons and stories; Trace connections between images, objects, ideas, people and moments in time

Each work/part has an equal role to play – no hierarchies of motifs; Non-hierarchical gathering of things … the commonality of objects

The work here is stuff, and is treated as stuff – you pick your way through the assortment – all in the spirit of curiosity

A territory where questions may be asked; ideas explored

Titles for works/ or explanatory texts? Or fictions? The work is complicated enough, without the misdirections of accompanying texts

Art is a discovery, not an invention, so artwork titles are observations more than anything

Work activated by the movement of the viewer

An art object occupies the space of an actual thing – viewer has to engage physically in relation to own body

Space divided into rooms/ carriages … A niche is transformed by putting work there; Filling an empty space gives it new meaning; Creates a strong sense of presence

How an object occupies a gallery; how the environment surrounding an image can influence how it gets experienced

Using sculptural installations to activate a room; Making a viewer more aware of ‘looking’; Coaxing the viewer

Composite multiscreen installation that makes you feel as if you’re inside the work

Dispersed through space; relation with neighbouring art works; Put stuff in front of people and let the art ask ‘What If?’

Drama of viewer not being able to take it all in – has to keep turning ones head

Dominated by the juxtaposition and interrogation of binaries – cultural, sexual, ideological, religious – placing the viewer between two opposing views (and maybe not being able to view both simultaneously)

Visitor plays role of detective to solve mystery

Questions about space – How it gets used/ who uses it – Viewer gets pushed/led/placed in position; layout raises new ways of experiencing/ interpreting/ expressing space in art

Audience invited to take things away

Viewer there to be entertained? to be educated? to witness? Why Have You Come??

Each artwork viewed as an embodied experience; Viewer becomes aware of own body moving through spaces, moving towards a work to see it, colours/ textures/ objects surrounding each work give it a context

Questions of Figure and Ground: Viewers become the figures and artworks become the ground (against which viewers become aware of themselves)

Work that unfolds; invite viewers to engage with different forms of communication and understanding

Works mounted in random groupings; or in linked groupings

Thoughts grow over time; require time and interaction from the viewer to reveal and unfold.

Investigates language and perception of materiality – not how the object is presented but how sharing a space with the object varies – testing viewers’ responses;

Transporting the audience into fictional settings

Homing in on things, sidestepping something else; Things slide out of mind as you move on …

Immersive installations that resonate with personal histories – embrace the viewer as an integral part of the experience

Sensibilities regarding framing, viewing, picturing through apertures/openings/structures; Putting chairs in front of something – inviting people to sit, to stop/slow down, to refocus

Musical element; audible in gallery at different times – further enriching the experience of moving through/engaging with the work

People surveying visitors about what they think something (eg Progress) means; Some gallery visitors are in fact actors

Decision corridors; Words on walls; Art so densely packed that each piece doesn’t have space to speak on its own terms

Time to learn together; seminars; Set up a temporary organisation – an Institute For ….. Certificates of ownership; of attendance (with competences etc) – as INSET


Vehicles for the rhetoric of Identity: journal, memoir, poetry, travelogue, report, essay, film, statues, portraits …..

Study in frailty and transience (of human flesh/life); Capturing sensation, feeling, understanding human condition: Capturing images of a lived experience – with some strong sense of reality

Reimagining the human body/ the human condition

Excavating identities: Identity investigated from intersectional perspectives, taking account of multiple identities that coexist

Deals with the personal (memory, adversity etc) and with themes of social agency/control/identity etc; How memories, images and objects situate and define us

Memorials to people, to places, to events

How identity is articulated in private places and public spaces; Sparking a dialogue between public and private

Proprioception: 6th sense, that enables us to understand our body in relation to things around us

Identities that form a core – or that can be picked up, tried on, put down

Fluidity of identity

Adopting alter ego personas as a way of exploring identity; escaping into another world; use of disguises, playacting, role taking, self-parody

Multitude of identities can be constructed by building/taking away/ rearranging

Impermanence of the changing self – Where do I come from? Where am I going? – Capturing how things/ places/ people change: Yesterday’s ‘I’ is different from today’s ‘I’

Autographic/ Allographic

Personal memories as triggers; capturing and preserving key details about an individual

Confronting personal and cultural stories

Permeable/subjective divisions between people; between past and present; between home and abroad

Examining personal and collective experiences and beliefs

Built on foundation of shared histories, stories and cultural narratives

Identity shapes the Why and the How, but not the What (of what I make as an artist). History and Identity are not the subject matter – the work concerns itself with formal explorations, feelings, materials etc

Presenting poignant life lessons informed by artist’s/subject’s lived experiences

Lived experiences; through disparate references; Each represents different autobiographical narratives and areas of research (such as history of female hysteria; Identity and whiteness; one particular version of masculinity….)

Explores cultural identities and belongings, through multi-layered narratives that use found images, texts and documents alongside own photographs; Scavenging other people’s work, newspapers, etc

Snatches of autobiography; memories from own life

Slowly reveal elusive, barely legible images that merge …. Based on photographs of self (as form of self-portrait)

Portraits overlaid with symbols; Portraits rendered in …

Imaginary portraits – evoking precarious states; filtering the past through a contemporary sensibility: abstract figuration

Portraits on a monumental scale, that tell stories of a monumental nature, whilst maintaining tenderness and intimacy

Evokes the vulnerability of the human body and the precariousness of power structures

Stuart Hall: Identity of Being (Communality), Identity of Becoming (process of identity formation) – more than one identity


Artist is no less a creator of narratives than a writer can be

We have nothing to say to others. We just fool/convince ourselves that we do

Small everyday objects, put next to each other, create a narrative – the interconnectedness of things; As if he’d just tipped the contents of his mind into the gallery and tried to make some sense of it.

Can be read as a series of short stories, between which there is a certain continuity … recurrent themes and narratives … episodes and questions … echoes and fragments

Able to create a new narrative from narratives that already exist; invented complex stories/ narratives; Narrative fragments sourced from anecdotes, found texts, newspapers – provide a starting point

Fractured narratives through construction of place, character, action … in site-responsive ways

Texts which offer content and create space for multiple readings of the work; Texts can offer different possibilities. The environment can subvert the text or activate it

Reuse/reappropriation of texts/materials, disconnected from productive purposes, … able to generate new/speculative narratives for the materials… contingent nature of information; how it is subject to chance and processes of decay/destruction

Ongoing narrative, as if all these images will one day turn out to be part of the same story – a story of growing up, rites, families etc – stills in a baggy novel; Subjects, plots and subplots; Metanarrative devices; with some truth to tell?

Rhetoric played out in different registers; Free play, chance, invention (make up your own story …); Narratives that come together

Philosophical – encouraging us to challenge the distinctions normally made between reality and imagination; in context of collective cultures, sustained, embedded in present

Attempts to use words to disrupt literal/romanticised interpretations of what is being photographed/ portrayed

Viewers/readers create their own meanings;  Shared subjects, repetitions (of words, objects, ideas, experiences) echoing throughout – Where they lead is up to each participant; Each work may pose similar questions but, as move on from one to the next, don’t always get the same answer

A terrain of research; retranslating and reinterpreting

Things/rooms set out – visitor decides on the narrative story – from evidence pieced together from clues, boxes of possessions etc

Series of objects/images that are like stories or journeys that don’t get anywhere. They construct an open-ended narrative space …. Start forward, but then get diverted …… a slippery sort of state where transitory connections are made through a mix of accident and dubious intent

Meanings are made in other people’s minds – Can’t control that (or be responsible for it); Concerned less with clear narratives than with seeping atmospheres

Spaces to try things out; asks people to reflect on the process of decision-making


Contemporary art (like contemporary life) is a jumble of messages, hidden agendas, redactions etc – inbuilt ambiguities … a slightly chaotic nature; can seem otherworldly, yet familiar

Out of favour: Truth, objectivity, disinterestedness. To know a situation, one has to be in a position to know … only by standing at a certain angle to reality can it be illuminated to you

Art’s troubled relationship to truth and truthfulness – capacity to lie creatively – to say what is not there – to imagine possibilities rather than describe what’s there; making oblique references to real life

Caught in a cacophony of irreconcilable truths in an unacknowledged fear that truth can never be anything more than a creative fiction

So much is uncertain; Inhabit a thin space between real and imagined

Ongoing concern with ambiguities and ambivalences

No fixed reality or literalness; Shuttles between complexity and simplicity; Deftly addressing the ambiguous boundaries; Ambiguity is the essence of what one does

Fiction and reality appear superimposed; Smudged line between reality and artifice; Hard to know what is real and what is staged, producing a sense of disjuncture; some drift to modelling of chaotic situations

‘A language of authenticity’ – images appear unmediated/spontaneous, even when carefully set up; Notion of Authenticity doesn’t have much critical currency at the moment – but holds some sense of something

Dichotomies; cause/effect; correlations; realities/fictions; presence/absence

Ambivalent boundaries that influence our existence – forgotten boundaries

Evoking various states of uncertainty; leaving only traces

Complexities of representations and abstractions – but things are deceptively simple

Differences in scale producing ambiguities

The benefit of doubt

Foregrounds some inevitable divergences between ….

Marshalls a range of disparate references … harnessing references that straddle multiples times and places

How we understand things depends on where we draw the lines

Fascinated by the idea of dualities; Background and foreground deliberately confused

Boundaries are indeterminate and fluctuating; Blur boundaries; upend expected functionalities – putting found objects in new contexts

Things have two/multiple names … are never what they seem; Same words, phrases, sentences occur here and there with different emphasis; Things getting somewhat lost in translation

Interest in how an image/object can be transformed to change its meaning, through shifts in scale or materiality

Photos that purport to represent something/record something; Hard to know what one is looking at – enigmatic; things not quite what they seem; odd perspectives; one has to shift back and forth to see what fits together (and what doesn’t), where and how; things are uneasy; almost narrative in that they imply some back story

Illusions and realities; distortions of seeing through mirrors, liquid surfaces, screens etc; Intuitive, enigmatic images that have a potential to change our perception of reality, but defy reduction into a few lines of analysis

Struggle to see round things and it becomes a structure not a sculpture

Things that sit at the periphery: small objects of life that we sometimes overlook existence of; that may not always be what they seem

Spectral apparitions seem untethered by gravity and trapped in some interstitial zone of being

Alternative versions of the everyday

A refracted remaking of ….

Again, A Time Machine; A fluid tour; changes as moves across venues or times; A curious space between perception and interpretation

Broader, more contextualised view… Proposes a type of dialogue within a tightly directed framework … to explore the boundaries between the authentic and the mediated, the lived and the archived

Entanglements with history; ideas of authenticity, forgery, replicas; imaginary lives

Convictions that are ours to fabricate

Artworks that have some uncertainty about what the subject is; reversals of figure and ground

Appears to be an object in one material, but is actually a casting in some different (unexpected) material

No attempt to make visitors believe what they are seeing

Not about understanding, but about being open to experience

What is going on remains obscure, plots remain unresolved

You find yourself wondering if the nondescript , portrayed, hold bigger secrets: Are they crime spots, murder scenes, places of particular importance to the artist?


Urban space as a key subject for enquiry – taking various positions (critical, observational, participatory, performative ….) – to get series of open-ended propositions about the contemporary urban environment, the way it is experienced, and how it affects us

Exploring the environments we are making for ourselves; environments seemingly built up and then abandoned by obsessed and tormented individuals

Interrogation of visual language of urban identity; Metropolis: Reflections on the modern city; Processes of urbanisation

Explores different types of ‘space’ – investigations focusing on photographic depictions of places that have been forgotten/overlooked – images often imbued with a psychological charge, hinting at traces of human presence/activity in evocative settings

Work comes out of curiosity … interest in historical/emotional significance of sites and objects; Impressions of an urban landscape

Notes for/from an Unknown City; Imagined Places – with their own logic, their own myths etc

In search of the essence of the city – an essence that often lies in the overlooked and the everyday, the makeshift and the mundane; On the hinterland between the real and the imagined

A frontline, a place of disruption and confrontation; Things at the edges; secretive, intense, claustrophobic; Overlooked, peripheral city spaces; Not occupied, vacant, free, empty, available; The uncomfortable middle ground; the in-between

Erasing the landscape; degrading the urban surfaces

People at odds with their surroundings

Notions of interior space; places that seem empty but on close inspection reveal details/traces/associations – disturbances, detritus, makeshift partitions, frayed edges

Dark corners/alleyways; uncertain/overlapping images of places; dim corridors; relections that disorientate

Any empty space can be thought of as a negative space

Urban photography in ominous shades of black and white

Not real places – constructed from various photographic sources – more like ‘portraits of landscapes’

Collages of images using the whole space. Not labelled separately but with annotated maps/leaflets

Exploring psychic connections to landscape … generic things with ability to evoke personal/collective memories … in detail … at once familiar and unnerving

Derive, drift, psychogeographies – enriched by feelings invoked in individual by surroundings – specific effects of environment on emotions/behaviours of individual

Walking; place; locality; time; distance; measurement; marking; mobility; freedom

Place, placement, displacement, transpositions of place/space. Walking/thinking as art practice

Linking experience of place through gestures, mapping, mark-making; consideration of locality, place, space – and asserting a continuity between these forms and our experience of everyday life

Baudelaire’s flaneur (observant wanderer) = passive engagement with city’s textures; cf parcour – alternative ways through city; reclaiming space for human agency; Places we think we know; Uneventful, meandering days

City encodes both past and future – a palimpsest; a stage; a politically demarcated zone; a generator of obscure visual codes and languages

A map and a space to be navigated; Territorial gestures that form boundaries between public and private

Archivist of Urban Waste – recording humble/everyday – images in grids – loose thematic groupings impulse to document changing environments

Finds threads between people/ places/ things – and weaves narratives to create complex installations/assemblages

Rooted in the textures and typographies of a homeland

A product of the landscape he grew up in

The city as a form of readymade

Interested in responding to architecture etc of city, to make us more aware of it

Urban landscape can be scrutinised as a context for exploitation of people under capitalism  – there are people hardly ever shown, whose existence is testified by the landscape itself

Explored in a critical dialogue with the city’s cultural history

A living document constructed from the very stuff of urban life

A manmade landscape is a cultural inscription that can be read, to better understand who we are and what we are doing

Intersections of rural or urban landscape and psychological space

Mapping; using plans of institutional/public sites as readymade framework on which to hang personal narratives

The ways that built environments reflect the individual and collective identities of their (current/former) makers and inhabitants

Concerned with the complexities and frustrations of life in a modern city; Embody an experience of organised chaos, centred on the postmodern city

Depicts places that are largely imaginary, but which feature real-world architecture, topography and history


Themes of loss, memory, mass experience socially constructed identities – in an image saturated age….

Concerns itself with overlooked histories – mining archives and forgotten documents – each piece of evidence translated into a discrete form

Entanglements of past, present and imagined futures

Traversing memories; slippery relationship between memory and truth

Structured within a loose chronology

Representations of Time

Going back home – to resolve/understand childhood – realising attachments to pasts and places; Revisited … experiencing something (again) as own projected memories

Excavations of memory (of a place) … for the person he used to be .. what has been forgotten, lost, swept away … as well as remembered … changes

A trace (looking back); Bring traces of complex and personal pasts into public visibility

Centring a memory, perception, time/space

Traces of past events ; critique of urban life; sinister bleakness , or warm optimism of regeneration plans

Familiar displaced by time … going away/coming back … remembering/forgetting … passage of time

Empty spaces – reawakening memories – layers of time/history pulled back and self being reinserted

Contexts and histories embedded in the site/location

Evocative embodiments of memory, community and place

The universality of change and the primacy of experimentation; dynamism that signifies constant change: developmental, regressive, cyclical and entropic

Open to the present; manner in which it responds to today’s world; built as a network around different discourses

Things collected and collated; Plundering the past; Work back from things to work out the rules

So much current noise, focus on Now – things from the past can be lost/ invisible/ overlooked

By looking at the past and the future, attempts to illuminate ways in which our local and global words are fundamentally linked

Alternative/ imagined/ re-imagined pasts – possible/ imagined futures; Partial recollections of imagined histories/ historical images

Concerned with hidden histories; Folklores and stories from the past; Collective and individual histories; Troubled histories; Industrial histories

Intersections of documentation, representation, cultural memory

Grounded in historical research … around the narration of history….. and how this impacts on the present day

Replication can be reproduction rather than transformation

Incomplete erasure of memories over time

Plundering the past; collected/ collaged … as theme of an idea – History Is Now

Celebrating; referencing; evoking the past but avoiding nostalgia

Locating the works firmly in the present

And What It Became Is Not What It Is Now; Suggests an unpredictable future of being left behind as rapid advancements in technology loom large; Uncertainty about future is a current unifying feature

Anthropology – investigation of language; archaeology – finding new meanings in familiar things (sifting through things eg memories)

A strange archaeology – with recurring motifs – seems to make no sense then a rhythm starts to emerge

Aesthetics of disappearance: Minutes later; hours later; years later; 15/30/50/75 years later

Archive as conceptual framework … carry traces of process of creation – Includes an archive of its own production

Taking a cyclical view of time/history cf a linear progressive one – recurring themes … understanding relations to world … passage of time through a life (and passage of a life through time?)

Using materials associated with historical/urban poverty; using talismanic objects that have communicative/ritualistic potential

Objects that carry the (unstated/written) wishes/ desires/ secrets of members of the public – visitors can adopt these in exchange for their own

Using materials that come with specific histories (clay from a certain site; blood from particular people; metal from particular bullets)


Studies in indeterminancy and assumptions – meaning being constructed through context

Containing the traditional, the expected – but also the unexpected; Proposing that we remain open to new discoveries

Expect The Unexpected; Attempt to destabilise and liberate audience from the dictatorship of the predictable

Captivating drama from everyday struggle with rules and ideas

An everyday struggle with rules and ideas; particular fit between ideas, theories, rules, codes – and the people who have to live with them, to conform, to follow the lessons, to abide by principles – trying (absurdly) to break free

Running counter to …..; Things turned inside out

Resisting an identifiable style; range of media – some constants occupy the thinking that underpins diverse activities ….

Gently mischievous undertows


Gathered elements; fragmented and luminous; Mirroring a fragmented nature of contemporary society

Diversity; heterogeneity; multiplicity – the transient, the fleeting, the contingent

Complex; threatening; energised; confusing; vital; – but also fragile, transient, terminal

In a fragmented world, things don’t happen all at once – the various formations/ locations etc of the artworks are different facades of this kaleidoscope; Balance of chaos and precision

Work represents, or comes as highly fragmented narratives

Fragments can be reconstructed to make different objects each time

Meaningful units of ephemera from life and work; reworked/reformulated as assemblages; Presence of anything should be to add something

Interrogates the meaning of objects by collating/assembling them – finding narratives in their shared existences/histories; Collage: allows for abrupt jumps of scale; shatters juxtapositioning

A giant tangle of influences; Entangled processes; entangled complex relations. Entanglement of race, gender, sexuality and power; Odd entanglements of the real and the imagined

An investigation (of sorts) in a world where so much is competing for attention

Unexpected juxtapositions; jarring combinations; Awkwardly conjoined; Sampling. Looping; Configured and reconfigured

All the working parts/ mechanisms made visible/ exposed

Putting trial fragments together, just to see what might work /might happen; Using/creating pieces of evidence; Seeking to construct from first principles

Everything planned; Work governed by some precise ordering – spatial or temporal; – but then chance allowed to intervene; working with contradicting impulses

Investigates cycles, potential of change/ decay/ regeneration .. presenting traces of processes; subject/ground interplays across layers

Constellations of things – written into a script; built as an assemblage

Individual components take on a narrative spin and suggest a progressive, rational, approach to problem solving (or not)

Offer a wealth of resonant relationships; Things resonate with associative linkages; Allows all sorts of associations to be made; Allows/encourages tensions to emerge/ to play out. Similarities emerge: Unexpected frissons, correspondences, associations – from composite view of the whole/all fragments: themes/links = connecting threads that become apparent but in changing ways

Interrelated series of opposites: dynamic/static, authored/auto-generated, monumental/ephemeral

Uncovering connections between the dominant and the repressed; the venerated and the dismissed; the high and the low – across a diverse array of social, cultural and aesthetic realms

Complex imagery – archival photographs, film stills, textiles, books, magazines, ephemera … densely layered monochrome collages

Images juxtaposed (in scale/format) reflecting view of life’s complexities

Images/text suggesting that reality is an ever-changing concept – constantly revised and corrected

Synchronicity – relationship of two unrelated events

Windows and doors; wall protrusions and indentations; things unfolding and closing back up

Using the grid as an organisational structure; A dense matrix that appears both constructed and organised; Deceptively simple grids, squares, spots and stripes; Grids laid out vertically or across floor; or bent round corners/objects

Interested in the taxonomy of things, the conventions of classifying and displaying works of art; Archives and taxonomies – with strange, miscellaneous objects – an unfulfilled narrative

Under-recognised objects and sources arranged as constellations….creating a space for ideas to exist between different fields of enquiry;

Rhythms, repetitions, layerings, juxtapositions, inversions, elaborations, stresses and pauses (as spoken word; as monologue; as music); Cycles and spirals – beyond linear communications

Each thing a bit out of kilter – things lean, abut at an angle, hang askew .. compellingly alien

Platform; complex space; manifestations; concepts; metaphorical; imagined; engaging; provocative; inspiring; acclaimed; intersectionality; referencing; commenting on; commitment to; making sense of; changing how we look at; appeal; different audiences; different spaces; the power of art; obligation as an artist; aesthetic; recreating; reimaginings; gesture; ways of reading; practice; reappropriating; imbued with a certain poetics; metaphor; lexicon of belongings; assemblage/bricolage; representations; interplay; connotation; themes; resonate; transcending individual experiences; circularity; decoding; sublime; reflections; distillation; triangulation; distancing; referential; nature of the productive process

Resembling finds from an archaeological dig or a beachcombing expedition …. Made from natural materials (shredded bark etc) or manufactured materials (shredded tyres from roadside etc) … assembled on wall or across floor … individual parts engage with, and activate, empty space around them – sometimes repeating, copying, mirroring each other …. Plays with elements of scenery (focal point, foreground, background….)

Things entombed; Things lurk, barely seen, merely intimated …. Things behind things – horizontal and vertical layerings

Employing techniques of layering and translucency; Addition, erasure, reversal …A fascination with reduction, erasure, absence – conjoined with an interest in the passage of time – giving it emotional heft; the fleeting nature of human experience

Layered and malleable structures; Multilayered projects; Layers of constructed meanings; A stratified approach to making; no hierarchies – all elements are as important as each other; generating a space of uncertainties; all a bit of a fantasy

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