My recent body of work which I’ve entitled Plexus began with the onset of the global pandemic when the material of plexiglass suddenly rose to ubiquity as a transparent protective shield.
Plexus refers to the intricate networks that exist within a structure and alludes to the delicate arrangements within society at a time when we have been working together to stay apart.
These abstract works in acrylic and paper collage are a hybrid of painting, relief and sculpture and use layers of clear sheets of plexiglass as both material and metaphor: they are a window into our contemporary moment, allowing us to see but not physically connect with one another.
On the one hand, the barriers that isolate us from each other come to mind, while we’re also reminded of metabolism and the membrane that the virus is attempting to breach in order to infect a healthy cell.
The layers of plexiglass are slightly gapped with a breathing space between which allows the colour, gestures and patterns to float, suspended in time. We are therefore invited to look deeper in order to discover the discrepancies between the visible layers and the actual layers. The combination of elements creates rhythms of light and shadow with a strong interplay of tension and relaxation between the forms and the voids between them.
In this way the works also became a metaphor for the sharing of information, creating questions such as how can we rely upon the veracity of the things that we see and hear? How easily are things obscured from us? How does the position that we occupy in physical space affect the accuracy of what we are exposed to?
As we hopefully now are emerging into a post-pandemic world, the work moves into investigating larger meanings, the politics of proximity and shifting the contextual focus from the individual to the global. How do the strains between institutional interconnections of globalization such as governance, universalism and humanism and the claims of localism, sovereignty and culture distinctiveness coexist across abstract borders? How do the time-space bridging technologies such as communications and media influence the values and aims that we hold to be true?
These most recent works maintain that there is no privileged point of view from which to view our human experience. And although our personal perspectives are constantly shifting, there is a lot of clarity to be gained by looking deeper, not “at” but “into” the depths of the world.