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A Secret Language
September 2015 & May/June 2016

This subtle and simplistic work encompasses two elements of drawing that echo the notion of language. From formations of brail-like pin holes across the surfaces, to the composition of the work on the wall - employing spaces as if punctuation in the works patternless rhythm.

 

This piece was created during my artist residency at 44AD artspace in Bath. As a lot of my work involves an exploration of drawing in the traditional means of mark making, with either pen, pencil or paint - this piece was a result of playing with what else mark making could be.

I began the creation of this work by taking Lunar Annua seed pods as inspiration for the shape - also known as ‘honesty’ these seed pods are oval shaped and have a semi-transparent paper like quality. I experimented with creating pinholes from both sides of the thin discs, enjoying creating textures on both sides.

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During the residency I gave talks in my studio on my practice and my explorations during my time at 44AD. In one of these a lady told me how the texture reminded her of brail and another lady how from far away had initially thought the piece was words. These comments got me thinking of the piece containing its own secret language. This kept me interested in what I could develop with these small discs and I continued to create more.

 

The piece has been exhibited twice in different format, first in my solo exhibition ‘Traces’ at 44AD. In this format the discs made up curving lines of varying lengths, spaces left between each line as if imitating the spaces in a sentence. The final round tracing paper piece sat alone away from the previous, as if a full stop on the wall.

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The second showing of this work trailed around corners on a wall, hiding in unexpected spaces. In both showings the piece’s secretive side also lay in its subtlety and shadows, with white on white and viewed from afar what is shadow and what is a disc is confused and the pin holes are easily missed. This hidden quality is something I enjoy in a lot of my work. There is something endlessly satisfying in knowing that those who take a closer look experience a moment of feeling like they’ve been let in on a secret - something that could be so easily missed.

 

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