The work in this post is perhaps less ‘abstract ‘(a concept that we will explore further in later posts and one that sits a little uncomfortably with me) than those in previous posts. The idea of working with Sue’s paintings as ‘backdrops’ (they are much more than this of course) whilst photographing the very plants and flowers that she had depicted in these paintings came about through a wish to begin to further explore the curious notion of space and the illusion that we all deal with in creating depth from a two dimensional surface.
On this occasion we were interested in using Sue’s paintings, which although physical objects with a single plane suggest many layers of space and emptiness, as the background for new work. The flowers and plants used in her paintings were bought in front of her finished pieces and photographed. So although the final print is still one flat plane it now conveys a very different sense of space.
It’s a little like some of the work of the conceptual photographer Kenneth Josephson, who was interested in truth and illusion within photography. This illusion of depth within both paintings and photographs (which is very obviously central to art) is central to our explorations. Everything we create is both real and an illusion and by working in this particular way we are taking it a step further. Where does one space begin and another end? What do two flat surfaces both creating illusions of reality do to our perception?
Whilst exploring these concepts we are still dealing with a particular aesthetic, one that takes beauty, often in the ordinary, as its premise. Hopefully these images begin to shift and move between the illusions of objects painted and photographed within different layers. It’s an area we have to do much more work within but has its beginnings here.