Tails - my father told me

  • Interactive animation
  • Video - clip
Commissioned by Radiator, Nottingham 2002 Video
Commissioned by Radiator, Nottingham 2002

This group of works, in which I made myself into a swarm, follows on from a number of others: Avid Metamorphosis I and II, Shrinking the Miniature and Hidden Seas /Surface Waters, that touch upon the possibility of re-negotiating the limits of the body/self.

SHRINKING the miniature

SHRINKING the miniature
Commissioned by Firstsite. Exhibited: The Minories, Colchester 1996

Hidden Seas/ Surface Waters

  • Video
Hidden Seas/ Surface Waters
Performance for camera, 1999 - Duration 11 minutes

Drawing on family experience of physical disability Hidden Seas / Surface Waters attempted to articulate a body of difference, whose boundaries remain physiologically and psychologically fluid, inverting the characteristic function of light as a source of 'illumination'.

The use of silhouettes within the work references the 18th century physiognomic experiments of James Lavater, who attempted to read from the profile of his sitters their moral and spiritual 'nature'.

Supported by a London Arts Board - London Hybrids Research and Development Award.

Production support Irish Museum of Modern Art and Arthouse, Dublin.
Residency and screening: Irish Musueum of Modern Art, Dublin. 1999
Exhibited, Spacex, Exeter. 2003

Reasoning Backwards

Reasoning Backwards
Exhibited: Dartington Arts Devon 2000

H.A.P.P.Y. (II) (click for sound recording)

Commissioned: Span 2. Exhibited: Dilston Grove London, 2002, Taxi Gallery, Cambridge 2002.

Truthing Gap: Beneath the Briny

Truthing Gap: MAPPING exhibition  (Nov 13th - Dec 11th 09)

A series of works in progress, generated at the National Oceanography Centre, as Leverhulme Artist in Residence, exhibited as part of a group show on Mapping at Howard Gardens Gallery, University of Wales Institute. 

Each marks an attempt to engage with processes of representing the undersea world while providing a counterpoint to the virtual and optical emphasis of scientific methods. Seeking ways of 'knowing', centred upon the imagination, desire, the body and touch, capable of resisting the separation of subject and object demanded by the use of observation as a way of encountering the world.

MAPPING exhibition  (Nov 13th - Dec 11th 09): Text

A New Set of Borders for the Kingdom uses geological and political data (deploying the same modelling programmes as the oceanographers I am working with) to reveal the underwater borders of the UK, while refering also to the current territorial undersea expansion of many nation states. For my scientific colleagues this kind of 3D dimensional map, which differs significantly from the 2d and screen based representations with which they are familiar, has prompted a new awareness of the different ways in which the movement of water and air determine topography.

By contrast to dive, to fall, to float, to fly while reminiscent of corporeal and geological forms has no actual geographic referent. Shaped by the tug of gravity, it conjures a space that pulls similarly at our imagination, both drawing and threatening.

Composed of 10,923.00 metres of string, enough to reach the bottom of the deepest surveyed point on Earth, Challenger Deep, A sailor went to sea, sea, sea, to see what he could see, see, see and all that he could see, see, see, was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea functions as another kind of index, offering a measure of both the distance involved and a trace of the near 2100,00 circuits of the space I walked while laying it out.

Similarly each of the 10-plaster reliefs that make up Ten Atlantic Days, the outlines of which were generated by a pen, hung by a thread from the table of my cabin aboard the RRS James Cook, offer a record of the motion of the sea over an 8-hour period on ten different days. Inspired in part by William Moon's embossed maps for the blind, they operate as kind of fingerprint making the otherwise invisible, tangible.

A freeze frame of a different sort is provided by the process of firing two handfuls of silt, collected from 4,000.00 metres below sea level in Whittard Canyon, a deep submarine canyon off the coast of Ireland, making the insubstantial solid. I want, I want, I want suggests the possibility of reaching down into the depths and grasping what lies below, giving a lie to the difficulty which accompanies the actual processes of retrieving such material. Its earthy materiality striking a sharp contrast with 11"21' North, 142" 12' East - Mariana Trench Abstraction a computer generated model, in which scientific data is manipulated so as to allow an impossible viewpoint in, around and through, the deepest place on earth.

Finally A long slow walk of 20,000 leagues fancifully charts a walk along the route of Jules Verne's Nautilus submarine, from the Pacific, through the Mediterranean, under Antarctica, to its demise in a whirlpool off the coast of Norway. A journey, the playful idiosyncrasy of which, offers a wry perspective on attempts to 'know' the deep sea.