My work begins with informal historical research into cultural phenomena now obscured from popular memory by the fog of time. I enjoy this disorienting time-travel, the novelty of the old, following strange threads that knot to the present in subtle, surprising ways. It's a great pleasure to stumble over illuminating, gem-like anecdotes and to stumble, too, over the hidden roots of our contemporary attitudes and institutions.
Of particular potency for me are the interweavings of real and imagined landscapes, outer and inner spaces. They reveal the way in which the mind, through the tinted glasses of its cultural conditioning, perceives the physical world: assigning meanings, forging mythologies, and retranslating its experience into word and image for further consumption. To cast a contemporary eye over, say, Victorian polar exploration or the Romantic lust for mountain peaks, is to observe these intractable, barren places become strikingly blank screens onto which are projected the desires, fears, biases, and self-love of an age that directly birthed our own.
Between raw experience and armchair fantasizing, the mediating role of literature, photography, and painting is crucial: as historical record, myth-making power, and imaginative catalyst. My work, then, is a further translation, skeptical but affectionate, diverging and altered by my own interests as any translation. In attempting to make reductive, poetic objects from historical inspirations, however, I hope to break them free of the ice and set them into wider, subtler, more subjective waters.
In a general sense, this work of the last few years participates, through a historical lens, in the tense transaction between the world as it is and the world as we wish it.