Here’s what’s in my sketchbook, on my mind and in my studio at the moment:
I am fascinated by the connections between people that we don’t realise exist – the links between us all on a human, universal level. I like the fact that we are all a bit weird, dark and strange inside. But most of us spend a large portion of our time worrying about this or feeling alone and different. In my mind, the thing that connects us all is the fact we are all different and that is what it is to be human. A lot of my past projects have delved into this, asking people to give me a secret or write me a letter.
My Word Collection Project continues to astound me – The project has been ongoing for 6 years now and remains surprising, intriguing and compelling. The sentences people send me are often very open and honest, the collection can be beautiful, disturbing and reassuring at the same time. I love the fact that all these disparate people have become connected through my artworks and through the eyes of a reader. (add your words to the collection here or at the bottom of this post) Here are a few recent ones:
I keep hitting my head against an invisible wall. I want to play with you. I am so grateful for the support of my loved ones. I don’t need these amateur dramatics. I said to myself. I embarrass myself. I have a crass panache for stating things blatantly. I’m sorry for going on so long. I feel different. I believe that. I kept hold. I don’t want to waste time rhyming spaceships with paperclips. I overcame what I thought would be my end. I had potential. I feel different every day. I get distracted. I can’t bear it. I love my family. I lost it all. I am glad I found you. I secretly crave bacon.
Talking of secrets, my recent work also flirts with the cult of the confessional – today’s outspoken, self publishing & fame obsessed world – but attempts to turn this on the observer. Using unexpected and truthful material from my ‘Word Collection’ which resonates with us all & goes beneath the surface and the glamour, attempting to be the opposite to what we could find on any reality TV show or twitter page.
For a while I have been toying with the idea of throwaway conversations with the concept of a sculpture called ‘Twitter bird’, which I want to be a bird-like form constructed using text laser cut into paper, sourced (of course) from Twitter where people are all busy ‘connecting’ and telling us their ‘secrets’.
Here are some of my experiments with laser cut text: