Artist Statement (MA May 2018)

Beginning as a continuation of my degree project, I wanted to go through another route in visualising memory. Many routes came up in the duration of this previous project and memory still intrigues me. I began exploring how to represent the memory of others. For a reference that was both visual and written word, I looked into used postcards as my visual aid. The original postcards I collected were from local shops, the sender and receiver being complete strangers to me with postal dates ranging from 1950s-80s. I used these over various mini-series, coming to realise that they don’t represent memories in the way I thought they did. They are more like pieces of a conversations and the photograph rarely represented this conversation. However, making the two relate within my paintings influenced the processes I experimented with. The visual representations in my mini-series did not quite reach the standard I wanted from this work. It came to be that the lack of connection to the source material showed as a lack of connection between the work and myself as the artist.

As a solution to this problem, I began writing postcards to myself.  This change in direction connected my previous work and the last few months of working with used postcards. The words being a written memory of the days’ overview and the postcards being selected for their aesthetic value.

The work explores the diaristic uses of the postcard. Both the paintings themselves and their titles are abstracted fragments from the original source of postcards I have written to myself. The picture on postcards rarely relates to the written text on the reverse. However, the relation between the chosen images painted and the titles is the selective process that takes small sections from both sides of the postcards. This process is affected by my mood at the time of writing and at the time of painting, both become ambiguous in what they are and what they represent.

I don’t class myself as an abstract painter, however, from some of my paintings, this might be the obvious word to describe them. However, to me, these images are all figurative because I know what they are and from where in source material I have taken it. Keeping this in mind, I do not tell people what it is represented, these paintings work better without the set definitions to stimulate the audience to come to their own conclusions. This thought process is also kept with the titles, many part of sentences that could be finished in multiple ways.