Artist's Statement: 2003.
For some years now my practice as an artist has been divided between the work I make directly from the landscape, focusing more on the formal issues of composition and colour; and the work that I make in the studio focusing primarily on those themes that have dominated my work in recent years, gardens, maps and other invented landscapes. This exhibition combines recent work from both areas of my practice, and demonstrates how, over the last few months, a dialogue has been established between these two distinct ways of working, bringing visual aspects of the landscapes into the studio work and vice versa.
Regarding my work in general it is an interest in landscape and in particular the landscapes that we invent that represents my main concern; paintings of gardens in Cork, focusing on flatness and pattern and in the relationship between objects and ground, influencing paintings made in the studio which take as their starting point the idea of maps and plans for cities not yet built. In the former small areas and blocks of interlocking colour refer to the gardens themselves, to shrubs and ponds and the plan of pathways, while in the latter these objects floating on a ground are based on circuit boards, street maps and images of modern cities seen from above. Abstracted elements which are then set within a simple grid structure that further underlines the connection with maps and the process of making maps.
My most recent work, titled 'Mapland', takes my interest in plans of imaginary places a stage further by making the place itself a map. In this work I have became particularly interested in the question of scale and the means by which, through the application of a systemised visual language, we are able to transpose the very large into the relatively small. The way a map helps us to convert something which cannot be seen all at once into something which can. Hence the use of circuit boards and aerial views of cities, which taken together combine the very big and the very small, demonstrating how much the one looks like the other.