drei (German: three) is a series of artwork that addresses three specific aspects of my personal life and practice - people, place and objects.
It develops concepts of context, implied narrative and space to communicate, amongst other things, darkness and danger.
Images are, for me, inherently loaded with stories. When I see a broken door or a crumpled piece of paper I interpret these further than simple objective observation. 'Why' and 'how' are impossible to ignore. Using very limited information and my emotional response I 'fill' in the gaps and create myths.
I am interested in what or who is not there, what I can't quite see and the helplessness of not being able to 'ground' an image in a time line.
If something moves the viewer or I is it something more than social conditioning? Is there an innate aspect involved? Is there a transference that occurs when darkness and danger are implied?
What preconceptions do the viewer and I bring to the experience? How does scarcity, complexity and proximity in both content and composition inform this process?
History is hysterical: it is constituted only if we consider it, only if we look at it – and in order to look at it, we must be excluded from it.
– Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida
The conclusions I draw are coloured by my own personal experience. Despite supposed impartiality or objective intent, I always project my own narratives into a scene.
The ambiguity in the images creates an immersive experience for the viewer. It all comes back to the referential. Ignorance vs knowledge and whatever power that takes or even gives to an artwork.
Typically the people who are imaged are metaphorical (they 'represent' someone or something in my life) or literal (ie. important in some way).
I'm terrified of people so the engagement itself – which is very intimate - is quite important from a creative point of view.
The final prints are large (1000mm x 700mm) and very detailed. The models are making eye contact, invading personal space and are almost challenging the viewer. Paradoxically the viewer is empowered to examine their 'confronter' in an intimacy not normally afforded.
It's all a bit like being able to walk right up to a screaming person and feel their breath without any threat of a bite.
By pairing images in an exhibition context, a deeply personal and confronting but at the same time, completely fictional narrative is created.
1000mm x 700mm Lightjet Print. Edition of 10 (2006)
Calligraphy by Emiko Banton.