“The idea of space has long been a focus of my practice; creating, manipulating and organising expanses within the material confines of the canvas. Recently my work has also been driven by the conceptual spaces of the digital world. I hope to capture something of these growing networks: delineating intersections between physical spaces and digital infrastructures, grounding intangible signals with solid longitudes and latitudes, and imagining the digital realms in which they exist.
I am equally interested in the artifacts and infrastructure that have created this new realm; Wifi, Bluetooth, cell towers, aerials, routers, cables, satellites, Hotspots and modems - the technology that has transformed our world, providing us with the constant means for communication, observation and navigation. There is something sublime about these vast networks and the overwhelming computations that support them. It unsettles and intrigues me. Can these developing technologies help to map or define this digital terrain? Do the signals that constantly ping back and forth leave any trace? How do you represent something ubiquitous but largely invisible?
My painting process involves a series of steps. I blend pigments into a dye before soaking a silk or knitted polyester substrate. I then pleat, drape and crease it before leaving it to dry. Much of the pigment is left in deposits where the folded fabric lies - monotype prints are transferred - but some pigment is retained. Highlights are left where the fabric has gathered or the dye has pooled. I often repeat the steps several times, each soaking leaving a residual trace. The rich depth that the process achieves is important. Expanses, volumes and voids are present, but so is a crucial hum - a white noise.
The sculptural works Known Unknowns 1-5 also interrogate the representation of the digital. By using a motif taken directly from the evolving architecture of telecommunication systems - the shark fin antenna - these works explore the potential ramifications of our constant technological progress. What does the impending arrival of driverless cars mean for our personal autonomy? Will cars continue to represent independence and freedom? Casting the antennae’s internal negative space creates a silent monument. Signals are no longer sent. Data is no longer received. Technology comes full circle.”
Tim Melville Gallery / Melbourne Art Fair / 01-05 August 2018