Reading & Research
Eye & Brain: the psychology of seeing Richard L. Gregory, 1966 Princeton Science Library
The Art of Thought: Graham Wallas, 1926, Solis Press
The Art of Scientific Investigation: W.I.B.Beveridge, 1957 W.W. Norton & Co. New York
Light & Photomedia: a new history and future of the photographic image, Jai McKenzie 2014, I. B.Tauris
Why People Get Lost: the Psychology and Neuroscience of Spatial Cognition, Paul A. Dudchenko 2010, Oxford University Press
A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit 2006, Canongate Books Ltd.
Pieces of Light, Charles Fernyhough 2012, Profile Books Ltd.
Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art & Architecture, Tim Ingold 2013, Routledge
In Praise of Shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki, published in Great Britain Jonathan Cape,1991
The Brain is Wider than the Sky, Brian Appleyard 2011, Weidenfeld & Nicholson
Inside Out / Outside In, 2017 / MFA Show 18 Aug – 1 Sept 2017, Newcastle University
The complex visual stimulus while looking out of the train window on my daily train journey, combined with my interest in way finding has led me to investigate how we perceive and make sense of the spaces we inhabit.
During the first year of my Fine Art masters programme, I created a series of cut paper apertures with, and through which I experimented with perception of natural light, space and movement using installation, video and photographs.
In the making of Inside Out/Outside In, 2017 I thought of the room it occupies as a type of perspective box, taking the space beyond its architectural confines, through the window and into the space outside. The window acts as a transparent portal between the exterior and interior, like an eye between external physical space and the internal spaces we inhabit in memories, dreams, books and music. using paper and acetate shetts allowed me to create a lightness and slightness, treading the boundary of the perceptible and imperceptible, the tangible and intangible.
InsideOut/Outside In invites us to consider our positioning both within and beyond the immediate visible space and to question how we look and see. It reflects on our experience of the real, alongside representations of the real, through our continual image making.
‘Trainsitioning’ / Drawing Installation / 2 – 7 April 2018
Long Gallery, Newcastle University
After relocating to Northumberland in 2016, to study for a Master of Fine Arts at Newcastle University, I travelled daily by train between Alnmouth and Newcastle. Looking through the train window, i became curious about the visual complexities, created within the passing landscapes, through movement and speed. landscape features appeared to move at different speeds according to their location within the landscape an distance from the train window. They also appeared more static closer to the centre of the viewed landscape and with proximity to the horizon. In turn, this difference of perceived movement appeared to cause different horizontal planes in the passing landscape to move in opposite directions. The combined effect was that the viewed landscape appeared to be rotating, pivoting from a point on the visible horizon from any viewpoint.
During the 1950s, Richard Hamilton created a series of works from similar observations on his train journeys between London and Newcastle and used the title Trainsition. I have borrowed from Hanilton’s title and pun to further emphasise the sensing of this movement. In addition, in his book Why People get Lost: The Psychology and Neuroscience of Spatial Cognition, Paul Dudchenko describes in his preface:
I work in a small university in the United Kingdom, (Stirling), and for a period of several years I commuted to and from it by train. On my way home from work in the evening, I occasionally had a very powerful sense that the train was going in the wrong direction – not homeward, but back towards the university. this sense of disorientation usually occurred when I drifted off while reading a document or book. From an intellectual standpoint I knew the train hadn’t changed directions. However, I had a compelling ‘gut’ sense that the train was heading the wrong way.
Movement it seems is a key component to our sense of being located. My Trainsitioning drawings and installation evolved from a four week project during March, beginning with some small notebook drawings made on my train journeys. The installation invites you, the viewer, to explore this sense of continual locating and relocating as you move within it.
Other Spaces 2018 / MFA Degree Show 2018 / Newcastle University
Other Spaces investigates our visual understanding of our physical surrounding alongside our perceptual and cognitive interpretation of it. It incorporates the concept of the window as both alooking and a reflective mechanism, referencing Marcel Duchamp’s Large Glass. Through this the viewer is invited to experience a sense of transitioning between the material and immaterial and explore their perceptions of space, depth and distance.
By positioning the transparent screens at right angles mirror images of the screens appear, like revolving doors. As the viewer moves around the screens, these mirror images align with the physical structure of nearby screens creating a sense of other spaces opening up.
Looking through two right angled transparent planes creates a complex of reflected images of the space, altering our understanding of space and depth. In several locations within Other Spaces the reflected image of a drawing has been aligned to hover over a wall drawing. As the viewer moves therefore Moire type patterns* appear, as if one drawing is being projected one on top of the other. This creates a further sense of movement, positioning and re-positioning, locating, re-locating.
Castors were added to the screens to enable experimentation with their positioning during the development of the artwork. the Japanese Washi tape on the floor trace this process of experimentation. In turn, the castors raise the transparent screens above the floor allowing them to inhabit a space between the material and immaterial, to become lighter and slighter allowing a soft shadow to form beneath them.
Paper washi tape is created in japan through a meticulous hand-made process, using the wood pulp from the Mulberry tree, thus extending this trace of hand beyond that of the artist’s.The tape is re-positionable and has been torn rather than cut to amplify the sense of movement and the trace of hand.
Within Other Spaces four different tones of tape have been used. The differing tones give the appearance of inhabiting different spaces, pushing and pulling at the surfaces of the screens and walls. this blends our perception of the drawings with their reflected images causing further ambiguity and uncertainty. Through this blending of the physical and perceptual, the viewer may have the sense of inhabiting several spaces simultaneously, integrating them with the artwork.
The installation invites the viewer to take their time to explore and inhabit these other spaces.
* Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing, Richard L. Gregory, 1966 Princeton University Press, Illusions p.200
Japanese paper seems to take light in, to envelop it gently like the soft surface of a first snowfall. (In Praise of Shadows, 1933)