Sunday, June 19, 2016


In Focus? Gouache on paper 24 x 32 cm 2016

This post and painting In Focus? links with my last post and painting Horizontal or Vertical? where I played with notions of perspective and orientation, ideas of landscape and signals. This new work on paper In Focus? also plays with landscape and signals as well as perspective and orientation, except it poses a question that provokes even more questions...who or what is meant to be in focus? Is being in focus about seeing a clear single target or is it simply about being able to see properly? Is it a literal target or perhaps getting a grip on a new idea? Are we talking about focusing our eyes, a camera, gun or a sensor of some kind? Any of these could have augmented vision technologies such as night vision and thermal imaging capacities to aid focusing in low or dark light. Maybe they could be connected to other devices that also need to be focused. After all, the world is a becoming a play of screens within screens, monitors within devices and devices within monitors, sensors galore! 

Why am I interested in these questions? Well...I am reading about militarised technologies for my M. Phil research...and ideas for paintings pop into my head all the time! I love that these ideas intersect with my prevailing inspirations of landscape, cosmology, symbolism, codes and perspective. So, with In Focus? I have tried to show how modern technologies penetrate. In this case the target is beyond the mountains or possibly inside the landscape. Not only is the land traversed by unseen signals that map various kinds of intentions that range from benign to malign, but the sky and space are also mapped in the same way. Where does this 'scape' of signals begin and end? We move through our environments unaware of silent and unseen signals, but there operative intentions influence our daily lives. 

In In Focus? I have tried to give the focusing scope a 3D effect, as if it has applied its own virtual environment onto an existing real one...the landscape. The simulated 3D effect contests the real multidimensional space. I ask, do modern simulations of multi-dimensional spaces play havoc with ideas and experiences of distance and perspective? In In Focus? It seems that the web of lines may go on and on, but do they? Or perhaps the window-like panes entice with promises of better things? The white and red lines seem to sculpt space as they seek...but what do they seek?


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