Artist Statement – Movement
In my work, light plays a role in translating ephemeral movement into tangible sculptural forms. The series of light compositions are created through collaborations between performance artists, dancers and myself. My initial role is that of observer and photo-documenter, studying patterns that are created when the artist performs. I then create site-specific neon light sculptures and installations that are the aftermath of our combined experience. In this way, the static sculptures embody the transients of the performance.
The performances take place in a darkened space, where the dancers or performance artists hold
lights. As their performance begins, I photograph their choreography using the camera as a drawing tool; long-exposures that track the staccato beams of light and their gestures over time. The result is photographic drawings that trace the lines of their actions; as the camera moves with the dancers, accidents occur, adding spontaneity and playfulness to the drawings. In a sense, the line drawings are a re-enactment of the performances, of which the end results extend beyond the original performance both as an archive and a vehicle for creating the neon work.
The weightless, suspended floating and free-standing neon forms are unique compositions that exist independently or with the dancers. In some cases the performers dance alongside the neon, and in other cases they are displayed alone. The viewer can move around the sculptural works, imagining the path of the performers’ bodies and our collaboration within the space.
Within the installations, an important part of the process for me is to record the timing of the dancers’ breath. I correlate the different inhalation rhythms to match the sequence of the neon lights as they turn on and off, embodying the real-time kinetics of the original performance, activating the space with dark pauses in one instance and bright glows the next. In some ways, I’m questioning how far the human emotion and gesture of performance can be captured in my final neon sculptures.
Creating the neon is a solitary exploration, a fragmented memory of the now ended performance. Some essence of the original performance remains in the final sculptural works, but there is also something that is created new in the final neons.
The neon are luminous, fleeting moments, echoing the sensitivity, gestures and emotions initially conveyed during the performances. They are metaphors of past and present; maps of the artists’ performance, yet symbolic of our collaborations.
link to website.
Artist statement – Neon Cartography
In this series of light arrangements, I’ve set out to map the urban landscape around me. I’ve used the city streets as my canvas. City lights is the ink and my camera becomes a drawing tool capturing these fleeting patterns in “light paintings”.
My initial role is that of observer and photo-documenter, studying the outlines created by city
lights and as the traffic moves. I control the freehand long exposure of my camera allowing me to track trails of light.
This process involves a degree of chance. As the camera moves when I walk, accidents occur,
recording unexpected images and adding spontaneity and playfulness to the light drawings.
Objects and people also imprint as black marks, as they obstruct the lights from the traffic and
city lights. I later deconstruct and visualize these photographic images in three-dimensional neon installations, translating the urban setting into to kinetic light pulses.
An important part of the process for me is to record the sounds of the city as I walk through,
taking long exposure photographs. I correlate the different sounds I hear—cars going by, people
talking, ambulance passing by or seagulls overhead—to match the sequence of the neon lights as
they turn on and off. I’m searching for ways to embody the real-time kinetics of the original
Cartography, activating the space with dark pauses in one instance and bright glows the next.
Enabling the viewers to peer into previously unseen patterns and glimpse transitory movements
now captured in light. Neon, somewhat transitory in its own physical qualities. It can often be loud and insistent but through careful manipulation, it can produce a subtle poetic light that radiates, inviting the viewer to see in new ways.
As an artist, I construct each aspect of my neon sculptures. Through this, I gain a degree of
control and can challenge the medium, adapting traditional neon techniques to free the medium
from its conventional restrictive space. This allows me an unrestricted approach to both my
research and practical work. I’ve attempted to “tame” the medium so that the neon’s light
whispers, inviting the viewer in closer to the work.
link to website.