I began Collector V whilst developing the first collection for Marios Schwab (Autumn Winter '08); these works filtered into Spring Summer '09. Taking Gustave Doré’s illustrations for the Bible, all surrounds are removed leaving a ghost of cloth and its forms, representing original sin. These also relate to the erotically charged patterns and folds in Japanese prints as well as to the history of cloth in religious iconography, painting and especially sculpture. They are a move from a two-dimensional space to a three-dimensional world. Equally concealing and revealing, the middle layer of medieval patterns draws the gaze through the lines into the flesh behind, the repetitive nature of design mimicking the banality of the source material.” ...more
" The colour is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide - plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard-of contradictions. "
" There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down."
" I get positively angry with the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, un-blinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place where the two breadths didn’t match and the eyes go all up and down the line, one a little higher than the other. "
" Looked at in one way each breadth stands alone, the bloated curves and flourishes - a kind of "debased Romanesque" with delirium tremens - go waddling up and down in isolated columns of fatuity. "
" Sometimes there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over. "
" It is the strangest yellow, that wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw - not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. "
" Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor. It sticks horribly and the pattern just enjoys it! All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just shriek with derision! "
The Collector V: And It Came to Pass… featured a series of large-scale works demonstrating my continued preoccupation with the traditions of collaged paper constructs. Using extracts of pornographic magazines to depict flesh and the abstracted body, these fragments were layered beneath carefully cut replications of cloth and cloaked forms. These figurations, sourced from Gustave Doré’s illustrations from the Bible, envelop the flesh tones in a series of caged contours, lingering as cadaverous entities within the frames. The simple folds of cloth, magnified and isolated, are seen grappling with the forms beneath them. Occasional hints towards the outline of a thigh, a shoulder, or even an architectural intrusion, offer a gentle indication of the form’s origin. The works, whilst they resist anatomical labelling, have an abstract sexual charge. Less clearly referential than previous works, they instead emphasise that which is simultaneously hidden and revealed.
Steeped in iconographic references, the cloaked forms rest in a state of suspended animation. They hint at that which they might conceal. From the outset, through the act of subtraction and in the precise cuts, the work enters a dialogue of spatial distancing, each fragmentation and layer conflating the foreground, middle and background further. Shadows, or vessels, of the forms they depict, these works place their emphasis on the power of negative space. Recalling Carlo Crivelli's paintings of religious stained glass windows, the symbolism inherent in the colour and iconography draws the viewer through metaphorical as well as literal layers of meaning.