borderlands

2007

exhibited at Gordart Gallery Johannesburg

artist's statement _       [3' read]

 

In a world where time has become a dimension of the time-space continuum, notions like “before” or “after” have no ultimate significance.

                                                                              (Diarmuid O’Murchu.)

 

The most basic principle of medical Doppler sonar scanning involves the resistance and flow of blood in the body. Sound waves are transmitted through the skin via a probe, and echoes of different strengths bounce back to the probe to be translated into a graph form for diagnostic interpretation. Ideally the graph should be ‘within normal limits’.

 

The underlying concept of this print installation is that the flat-line and peak of the graph could rather symbolise two opposite poles of human experience - longing and belonging - the individual’s continual yearning for sparks of meaningful human connection to help cope with the ongoing, mundane survival patterns of day-to-day life.

borderlands frieze

The middle frieze of the installation, borderlands, was the first part to be created. I allowed red monotype watercolour washes to settle serendipitously on the matrix, intending them as a printed metaphor for the unique fluctuation of each individual’s emotions, despite every human body needing to slot into a standardised physical blueprint. The overprinted diagram of a ‘normal’ Doppler graph also reads here as the ebb and flow of the states of longing and belonging.

humus frieze

Subconscious retentions from our pasts that help form us as individuals are implied in the lower frieze humus. Here, the brown watercolour monotypes symbolise stains of earth, soil, and bones, alluding to the hardwiring of instinct and imprint that may nourish or deplete us.

 

transmission frieze

Random desires, ambivalences, states of contemplation and the mental sifting associated with the spirit are suggested in the top frieze transmission. The floating structure - initially perceived as a butterfly, in some Ancient cultures a symbol for the soul - is a diagrammatic representation of the sphenoid bone in the base of the skull, which transmits vessels and nerves.

 

My intention in creating this frieze print installation is to show the pulsing back and forth of instinct and spirit across the physicality of the body, signifying the subtle shifts that continue unceasingly within the consciousness of the individual.

Each frieze had 60 prints - all monotype/screenprint combinations - and they ran around the four walls of a single room in the gallery.  

This installation was my contribution to a duo exhibition I held with Sheila Flynn, the title of which was liminal states.

gallery

section of full gallery installation

acknowledgements

the following sources were used to research my topic and provide quotes in some of the artworks:

O’Murchu, D. 2004. Quantum Theology. The Crossroad Publishing Company: New York.

 

Sanders, R.C. 1998. Clinical Sonography. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia.

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