Containment builds on the suburban gothic oeuvre, exploring the dichotomy between the external and internal worlds and the hidden parts of the human condition. The installations in containment are constructed from raw paper bags, wire, feathers, bowls and paper and develop the iconography of previous work. Yet where burn explored the nature of pain and scarring through the tangible physicality of the mutilated surface these works push beyond, into the interior states of confinement, repression and restraint.
The obsession with the visceral is played out through recurring archetypal images; a kitchen knife, a colt revolver, an antique padlock, crows talons, singular feathers and sets of wings; and imbue the installations with suggestions of sexuality, spirituality and a latent, yet pervasive aggression.Whilst employing a visual language that is ephemeral in nature, the context of the exhibition is grounded in contemporary existence.
not drown lowdown 1
Not drowning, drifting
Not drowning, drifting integrates zen-like minimalism with subtle allusions to Greek mythology and Judeo-Christian imagery. 42 solitary feathers contained in 42 white porcelain bowls float upon the surface tension of the water within, positioned before a small ‘corpus christi’ stove element icon/assemblage. An Icarus association is drawn out through the winged corpus christi, and in the single feathers contained in the bowls – perhaps referencing icarus’ drowning in the ocean on falling from the sky, but in this instance, drifting, not drowning in holy water, contained within a feminine space/vessel.
An assemblage/installation constructed from wire mesh, bolts, crow wings and talons, and a metal box filled with tiny black ceramic birds plays with the idea of the containment of the (suburban)‘shadow’. In this work the torso and head of the crow has been removed, replaced by a wire mesh ‘cage’ leaving the wings and talons bolted within. Beneath them, a black metal box sits on the floor and can be opened by the viewer to reveal dozens of small black birds. With its reference to Pandora’s box the work questions our capacity or desire to ‘control or repress the shadow.
I use brown paper bags as a symbol for the torso. In this piece I’ve scrawled professional case notes drawn from actual cases on to the surface these paper bodies. There are mystery objects and words concealed inside, but they are never revealed.
subcutanea kneeling naked
Subcutanea is an installation of 110 brown paper bags suspended in rows in a progressive decline, suggesting figures in a womb like space. As the viewer proceeds through the work they are forced to assume a foetal crouching position reinforcing the allusion. The torso-esque bags are randomly printed with recurring images of crows, kitchen knives, guns, with some cut open to reveal black feathers, or antique padlock images.
The work references an ordered suburban existence where external presentation conceals hidden complexities, motivations and desires, in this case, suggested by black motifs and cryptic symbols..