Open the window; open the door

Artist statement

This work was made while I was artist in residence at Carss Park Artist Cottage in November–December 2019, using a variety of experimental printmaking techniques.

My work is influenced by the early Modernist avant garde (Russian Futurism, Dada); visual poetry and mail art movements (Fluxus); the Situationist International; zines and their associated subcultures; and the history of printmaking and typography.

The basis for most of my work is found text. I appropriate text from sources such as outdated books for children (early-learning encyclopedias, ‘look and learn’ books, obsolete textbooks), mid-20th century National Geographic magazines, and, occasionally, popular novels and works of non-fiction.

The writing in the source material I use is often characterised by a sense of adventure, exploration, and wide-eyed wonder about the world and humanity’s place in it. This style of writing is awe-inspiring, but also often the product of an unexamined settler-colonial viewpoint. Such source material also often contains outdated ideas about sex, gender, race, and class. By appropriating text from these sources, I can edit out the problematic elements and reclaim words and phrases that resonate with me – ones that carry a sense that the world, the future, and human relations are open to endless possibilities. I use chance as a technique to combine this appropriated text with graphic elements in order to make compositions on paper, forming randomised juxtapositions which suggest new meanings, and new ways of finding meaning in familiar, everyday materials.

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