My art work starts with a vintage photograph digitally enhanced, the results printed on to specially treated fabric with archival inks, and then I use my version of a free style straight hand embroidery stitch to give my subjects a new contemporary soul. Printmaking techniques like monotype, and lithograph can be backgrounds as well as painted canvases.
We live in a culture of disposable information characterized by our ability to access knowledge instantly and impose on that knowledge our own versions of the truth. As we outsource more and more of our thinking to technological tools the true stories – memories – have begun to fade into extinction. And the treasured things that we save – the archival vaults for memory – are increasingly disappearing. My work explores the concept of sustainable memory.
I am interested in how memories are preserved – not the tangible thing that is often mistaken to be the memory, but the non-tangible story that is embedded in the thing. I am constantly analysing the notion of “lose the thing, save the memory” which leads me to discover many layers of time. Buried in these layers I discover forgotten artifacts which in turn lead me to reclaim and sustain fragments of memory.
My imagery challenges people to enter my debate as to what is more important to salvage – the emotional memory or the physical memory. Always open to interpretation, the viewer may not understand exactly what they are seeing in my art. They are encouraged to fill in the blanks with nostalgia, generalities, or lies.