Photo Oxford 2020
What are the key concepts behind the Swanage work?
I wanted to register a Swanage I found in September 2020, a pyschogeographical trawl, referencing historical links to Helen Muspratt, Paul Nash and Eileen Agar, as well as my own childhood memories of holidays at Cliff Cottage, Muspratt's home.
Some of Nash's found objects, often collected in Dorset, were assembled on car bonnets, photographed and rearranged, recurring later in different contexts and maybe eventually deposited in the large packing case of stuff he took with him when he left Swanage.
Collecting my own 'found' images felt comparable to beach-combing, restricted not by tidal time but by the span of one afternoon. I was interested in allowing the strangeness of revisiting Swanage to reveal itself. Snapshots which might start a conversation, shadows of crouched figures framed by beach shelters, walkways clogged with sand, huge cruise ships with nowhere to go reduced to smudges on the horizon.
What made you use Postcards as the conduit for your work?
From their point of departure, in this case a remote Dorset postbox, the postcards make their own hidden journey and can arrive bent, scratched, damp: always far removed from a pristine print. They invite handling, rearranging, and with the addition of text begin to operate in the realm of an unbound book. I have made sets of five with this in mind.
How important is 'a sense of place' in the work?
As the construct works both in the imagination and the physical world, Swanage definitely has a strong sense of place for me, a Victorian seaside town with surrealist connections threaded with my own dreamlike memories.
I am interested in exploring how the meaning of work which has powerful connections to a place seems to shift depending on the physical space in which it is encountered. My postcard format has the inherent possibility of disruption to the current necessity to engage with a huge variety of content via digital-only means, often in a domestic setting.