What Lies Beneath - Exposure to Closure

"Exposure was a necessary release, Closure a conscious choice."

Exposure and Closure were both created for a now cancelled exhibition at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. The intention was to show them next year, 2021, but that too has been put on hold due to the uncertainty around the pandemic and restrictions. I have chosen to write a little about the process and meaning behind the work here to keep it alive until such point as I can exhibit the pieces.

They mark both a beginning and an end, two bookmarks on a 3 year period in which I focused my attentions on myself, my inner world and the deep and painful sorrow I had felt after the unexpected death of my best friend and ex partner in 2017. 'Exposure - What Lies Beneath' as you can see below encapsulates the visceral process I underwent in peeling back my memories, my pain and exposing what lay beneath to the world, for many years I had shied away from putting myself at the centre of my work, it had however become integral to my survival.

The work took a life of its own, it was very hands on and the concept evolved organically. The peeling back of the canvas to reveal the damaged photographic transfer embedded in a flesh like wound of modelling paste acrylic and ink, completely put the emotional rawness I felt into visual imagery. The process was both illuminating and cathartic.

'Closure - Unaccustomed To The Light' (above) is the suspension of that period of my life. I made a conscious decision to close off those 3 years of deep introspection. I had spent so long in the depth of my feelings throughout the  process that I had almost forgotten what it was like to be joyous and free, this is alluded to in the title of the work 'Unaccustomed To The Light'. The piece is a binding of those feelings of grief and sadness. I specifically left it possible on both pieces of work to take a pair of scissors and cut the yarn, changing the configuration of the work, closing or opening.

As I mentioned before the method of creating these works was hands on. Yarn and the process of stitching is something I have used before in my work, I enjoy the double meaning of 'Yarn' itself, for it is both wool and a spun story. I like to think I use it to bind my work together, the physical act of piercing and threading also adds energy into the work. You can see below a time lapsed video of me stitching across the open panel of Closure below.

Exposure and Closure are both very important pieces for me, my story and my journey as an artist and I hope to be able to share them at exhibition with the public soon.


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