“An active line, moving freely, goes for a stroll on its own, without destination”

(Paul Klee 1964)

Recent work explores possibilities inherent in play and exploration without destination.  Using both materials and ideas with connection to past interests in ceramics, drawing and sound, combinations of materials interact freely during play. Through iterative process, based on enquiry into the nature of the line and concern for material qualities, decision pathways evolve and criteria become established.  This creates an environment for emergence, as described by Verwoet in discussing the paintings of Tomma Abts (2005).While maintaining a continual alertness to the state of matter, yet relinquishing control, subconscious processes are fully engaged.  Play is a key, allowing the unanticipated to both emerge and be recognised.  The works access kinetic interplay between the elastic fragility of thin porcelain lines, which themselves become the architects of sound driven through the familiarity and functionality of unadorned speaker drivers. A flow of energy is reflected in this imagining and generation of sound, sound that may in turn seduce and create unease. The line is revealed as a signal, a recording, a transduced flow of energy existing in space and time, something not constrained to two-dimensions but something, physical, tangible, active. Similar interests have been explored by, among others, Francis Alijs (The Green Line, 2004) and Janet Cardiff (Alter Banhof Video Walk, 2012).  Both have, through kinetic engagement of either artist (Alijs) or audience (Cardiff) expanded the sense of line, and in the process opened to question its relationship to the external world.

The Canadian sculptor David Altmejd, in answer to a question regarding the nature of metaphysics in his work, expressed the wish that everything were visible and that “even the energy and liveliness and potential for transformation were visually evident” (Hull 2011). In seeking and recognising the unanticipated, my work is influenced by how expanding understandings of physical cosmology challenge our sense of self, of significance, of meaning and how metaphysical cosmology addresses this.  I would argue that through interaction with our senses, art leads us to address profound questions and understandings.  That in fact the hidden might be revealed more richly by contemplation of the work than by mere visualisation, that a central element in art is the creative process brought by the audience. This underlies an evolving interest in the coherences and contrasts between western cultures of art and science.

At this stage I relate my approach to that of the palimpsest, a manuscript from which text has, perhaps repeatedly, been effaced either wholly or partially before being overwritten with potentially unrelated content. The erased text in such scrolls may reappear over time.  This allows an entirely open mind-set, with the expectation that novel approaches will be unhindered, but may be informed by prior knowledge, referencing emergence as a maker’s strategy.


Alÿs, Francis (2004) accessed 21/3/2018 http://francisalys.com/the-green-line/

Cardiff, Janet (2013) accessed 23/03/2018 http://www.cardiffmiller.com/artworks/walks/bahnhof.html

Hull (2011) accessed 14 May 2018 https://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/interviews/david-altmejd-andrea-rosen/

Verwoet, Jan. (2005) “Emergence: On the painting of Tomma Abts”. In Tomma Abts, 41-48 Phaidon Press Ltd

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