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Photo credit: Stuart Marlin

Borrowed Scenery

In the exhibition Borrowed Scenery, I explore motifs of abstracted landscapes within the framework of an expanded notion of drawing and mark making. This involves various literal interactions with the picture plane in the forms of tearing, crumpling, burning (brûlage) smoking (fumage) and sculpting.


The notion of ‘borrowed scenery’ comes from the Japanese idea of shakkei, a concept of incorporating the background landscape into the composition of a garden, for example offering a glimpse of a mountain through a gap in the trees. In shakkei, the view of any distant forms surrounding the garden are brought into the garden’s overall design, enhancing and expanding the visitor’s overall experience.


Paper Mountains 1 is a floor‑based work which offers a topographical view of a gestural drawing on a sculpted mountainous-like surface. In contrast, Paper Mountains 2 is a two‑dimensional cross‑sectional landscape that extends along the wall of the gallery. The shape of the artwork has been formed using torn and burnt paper, thus introducing an element of chance into the process of constructing the work. Paper Mountains 3 is an artist’s book where the small landscapes form pages referencing Paper Mountains 2. The exhibition is accompanied by a sound element produced by recording the tearing of paper, which brings the studio activity into the exhibition.[1]


With this body of work, I hope to bring into the work the viewer’s own encounters with mountains and terrains in order to open out their experience of my artworks.


[1] A reference to Robert Morris’s work Box with the Sound of Its Own Making from 1961, where a wooden cube emitted a recording of the cutting of timber and hammering produced in the course of making the box.

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