To make Art is to delve into a conversation with the unknown. My artworks engage in a process that combines pursuit, reflection, adjustment, and an embodied physicality. Their making is guided by a search for that which is cognitively unknowable yet can be felt viscerally. The resulting images are created through the use of the photogravure process that was invented in the late 19th century. My work is influenced by late 19th century aesthetics but, unlike the prevailing aesthetic of that time (formal and precise), I choose to embrace chance in my working process. The photographically derived imagery that results, necessarily embraces the role of the lens which can distort the subject or reveal the subject clearly. It can be made to overexpose or underexpose the subject. And finally, when the negative is chosen to print and the chemical processes have begun, a whole host of chance operations are introduced. The lens and the process are the intermediary or medium that facilitate a conversation between my inner reality and the physical world I find myself in. The final artwork is a record of that dialogue.
These works are as much about what is depicted, as they are about how the image is coaxed into being. I am trained as a printmaker and therefore I find my truth revealed in process. When I make a photogravure printing plate, the experience of taking the image has passed, and the real act of art-making is just beginning. The structure provided by technique gives my art a place to evolve and gives my conversation with the unknown, time to percolate and form. Making the image rather than taking the image is where the dialogue begins.
This most recent body of work was produced during an extended stay in the west of Ireland. The images capture a dynamic space where the mountains meet the sea and a distinct feeling of the past haunts the present. The stones in many of the images have been shaped and used by people for millennia, providing shelter, borders, paths and places of worship. They seem to speak in an eternal, prosaic and dignified whisper. My aim in the finished works combines an effort to receive and then reflect their quiet dignity. They set a tone that is quiet, dark, and remote, yet also intimate. Finally, these prints make visible a dialogue between self, spirit, and a uniquely evocative place.