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Learning to let go and not worry about the end result
Early in 2014, I was invited to submit a piece for a group show called “Edge” at the Keep Calm & Carry On Gallery on Gabriola Island, B.C. Participating artists were called upon to challenge themselves by finding a new way of working, to try a subject or media they’d never explored before. Delving into the unfamiliar was a little scary at first, but ultimately it felt very liberating to embrace the exercise and not worry about the end result. Devising a new process for myself was a huge part of the fun.
My work is based on photographs I take of scenes that captivate me. Often it’s a fleeting glimpse from a moving vehicle. The photos are elaborately collaged to serve as both a memory trigger and to aid in composition. The work develops through a desire to see through and past what the camera saw to what is remembered. The ultimate goal is to share a story with the viewer.
I set out to produce a completely abstract piece, working with no preconceived idea of how it would look when finished. There would be no narrative theme to guide it, nor any photo collages for reference. The composition would be impossible to plan because I would work blind – I would figure out a way to prevent myself from seeing more than a tiny bit of the piece at any given time. Once complete, the piece would be past the point of alteration.
The results are nothing like my usual work and they would never have come into being if I’d stayed in my familiar groove.