Through drawing I attempt to explore place, community and public persona. I use drawing and text to explore my own ideas as well as increasingly to create situations for dialogues and connections between people as a result of inviting them to draw as well. This action of leaving messages and drawings relating to place I hope results in an empathy and understanding for one another in a social context. I am interested in people and our desire to share in order to leave traces and evidence of our life in order to somehow confirm our existence through something tangible, as well as contrastingly what we chose to hide and how this affects our encounters and relations to one another.
This term I have invited passers by to leave drawings and messages in a book on a bench and read all the entries of people who also found the book not long before you. I have written my biggest secrets on the sole of my foot, and the stories of my house on the doorstep. I’ve communicated with my neighbors through drawings in the window and made a book about the mysterious mark on the carpet of a bedroom from a previous owner who ironed on the floor. All these projects attempt to explore what is known or unknown and shared or kept secret within various social contexts and personal and private spaces.
The concept of using something that we have in common, such as a place, for people to feel closer to each other and to a through sharing and revealing runs throughout my work. Some of my projects create situations that begin with a physical object, such as a book or envelope, but only comes to life when my control is given away and people engage with it, discuss it, record or share it and may end existing only in the memories and conversations of the people who saw it. Anonymity is another theme as when an identity is not attached there is inevitably an intrigue and a questioning which allows for more possibilities as if it could have been anyone, so therefore you can consider everyone. This element of chance in any passer by potentially becoming both the audience and creator of the artwork places a degree of trust on all those who leave their contribution which I think is important for developing a social empathy with others as well as being a natural result of inviting people to share.
I think my way of working, or at least my interests and ambitions for the future lie in having a social awareness, community and working within a specific site that requires an understanding. I am influenced by artists such as Lowri Evans, Ania Bas, Suzanne Lacy and Jeremy Deller, groups such as the Situations and They Eat Culture, who commission artists, projects and collaborations within communities and areas. As this kind of work is relativly new to me I have been informed this term by books such as, Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, Conversation Pieces: Community and communication in contemporary art, The Lure of the Local: Sense of place in a multicentered society, Behavior in public places: Notes on social organizations and gatherings and Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces which all assist in my developing an understanding of art outside the gallery space.