My work centres the ephemeral, the fleeting, and the misremembered.
In performance, event, and writing, I construct manifestations of chaos and candor that are intimately communal; a viewer might feel invigorated by the fleetingness of the work, like watching a film in a dark room with the knowledge it will soon be over. My work seeks to celebrate and revel in the ephemerality of these moments. I feel I am forever chasing a specific Feeling; the feeling of finding something exciting in a cluttered antique shop, the feeling of knowing someone appreciates an old movie in the exact same way you do, the feeling of saying “cheers” in the pub with your closest comrades. These instances, however small, however fleeting, are the essence of what we mean to each other.
I often look to half-forgotten histories, inviting the methods of the past to have a presence in and around the present. Social histories of medieval printing presses, early 20th century cinemas, and renegade Dadaist circuses all inform and underpin the things I make. This presence might be material, in the use of analogue mediums such as letterpress printing or town-crier-esque performance, or it might be more theoretical, in the repurposing of forgotten formats and forgotten stories.
I look not just to the work but the structures surrounding it; the cinema before the film, the language before the words, the sketchbook before the drawing. Approaching these structures critically, as well as building our own structures in which we can collaborate and commune. Within these alternative structures, there’s something in facilitating work made by others. The ringmaster, the penny showman, the radio host, the zine compiler, even the crossword setter; anarchic platforms for eclectic work, or words.
My work is often theatrical or performative, flaunting vintage musical instruments alongside stories, poems, and doggerel. Though, I also engage with quieter means of making; writing poems, stories, and essays not as an addition to, but a force within my practice. These thoughts come together as charcoal-stained investigation walls, collages in material and theory; deconstructions and reconstructions of paper, canvas, and pencil.
The drawings and writings and melodica-stylings tend to coalesce in the form of events; cinematic evenings, anarchic salons, and radio shows. This ties in to thoughts of historical engagement and dismantling hierarchies, self-organisation and collaboration in a horizontal, non-hierarchical way. Books and zines, like films, have historically remained portable and distributable. They are ephemeral, transitive, but ultimately uniting in their cheapness (or free-ness! freedom!) and radical accessibility. The solitary and the communal in an eternal tryst; for each and for every. Perhaps, in collage, in arrangements and re-arrangements of objects and happenings, we can engage in a sort of reverse-reification. Instead of turning the abstract into something tangible, we can take objecthood and unravel it, smudging the ink of the storybooks and drowning out folk-tales with accordion music. By delighting in chaos and complexity, we can resist the bludgeoning, the boiling down, the simplification that a capitalist system implores.
What does art look like when it isn’t screwed to a gallery wall? When it can be held, shaped, and warped?
By taking real stories, and unravelling them, warping them until — they become anachronistic ghosts of their former selves, inviting all the chaos and contexts of then, now, and always.