For the past few months I’ve been thinking about the ways in which dissonance is an underlying factor in my work. I’m particularly drawn to the notion of tension between disparate materials and processes and how their interaction can determine the direction the work ultimately takes. For example, I enjoy working with natural silk but of late have been using artificial silk, exploring how it responds to the processes I use and in particular, how it reacts to fire. If I touch natural silk with a flame, it seems to dance. By way of contrast, the artificial silk melts into itself, becoming a molten lump of sinister darkness. In the work I have been developing over the past three years, I’ve kept these two different materials quite separate, never mixing them within a final piece. But very recently, I did combine them and was intrigued by where this coalescence has led me. In this first image, although the visible structure has been eroded, their inherent strength and resilience remains (image 1).
Another result of this combining of two disparate materials is my increasing interest in exploring their dissonance through simple digital manipulation. Once again this has led me to further integrate the various aspects of my creative process. An integral aspect of how I work is my use of reflexive writing and for me this means thinking on my thinking. In the next image I have merged some of this writing into one of my digital explorations (image 2).
Not actually intended as finished pieces of work, both images should be seen as stages in an evolving process of discovery.
See the development of this ongoing body of work here.