Artistic Statement


‘To give pictorial form reveals complex contradictions between visual representation and linguistic description, and reminds us that language is a fragile and illogical construct’ [1]

Harmonizing both Text and Imagery together is a concept I am recently trying to identify in my current artistic practice. I want to accomplish how both text and visual can sit together and accommodate one another, without one being overlooked. From recent experience in my own artwork, I have noticed that when both are placed together, the visual aspect is lost and the viewer only sees the text, and so finding this compromise is what I am currently discovering through my work. Why is text the foremost aspect of an artwork, or vice versa with imagery? And how can this be compromised when both mediums are complex in their own right?

Austrian artist; Anatol Knotek has been a big influence to me in starting my new text based practice. Knotek’s works use text as an object to create imagery; he brings out narrative from words in his pieces. With his text art, Knotek gives his words attitude; so much so you can hear a voice from them. Similarly, my text work aims to create a narrative like Knotek, but I rely on the content of the words I chose and place together, Unlike Anatol Knotek who visually changes the words to form a narrative. Knotek to me is a prime example of finding the correct balance of text and a visual; which he has done so subtly in making the text, the image.

I think a lot of my inspiration comes from analysing the words themselves and what they mean. In my work I like to place words that are not usually put together and then combine them both; this changes the context of the words and their original meanings, I do this as a way to show my audience my thoughts and feelings.

The subject of death is the context of my work and has been a reoccurring theme throughout my practice.  My recent work confronts my fear of dying which is an aspect I battle with. Using text within this personal context allows me to de-construct this fear in a much deeper and more significant mode of thought[2]. Why do I fear death?  I believe it is the anxiety of the unknown aspect of death; how undiscovered it is, how we will never fully know when it will come or where we go, our whole lives cannot just lead up to an end of black nothingness.  Not to psychoanalyse myself but I put this down to not liking endings – which in all, drives me to create.

My work prior to this dealt with celebrity deaths and the hysteria that surrounds when someone so influential passes.  It intrigued me how a person can miss someone they have never personally known, which I also injected my existential angst into, so it has been a gradual progression to my practice now and the realisation has only just become clear what my art context is.

The making process within my art is very important to me. To experiment with various methods and materials, discovering what does and does not work, and then questioning why, is the main focus of my developing practice; creating a piece of work, finding its faults. I then analyse this, which results in a new piece of art from that previous questioning. I believe it’s the analysing part that constructs my work and it is here where my research and adaptations take place in order to go back to my piece to re-evaluate and proceed further.

The context of my art takes shape into various practices; I describe myself as a multidisciplinary artist as I don’t want to be restricted to one medium, I enjoy the experimental processes and the finding of a material to suit what I wish to convey.
However, I often return to printmaking; Mono-print, Cyanotype, Dry point etching, Lino-cut, Callograph, the more hand-made processes interest me the most, specifically Mono-print.  This style of print, in my opinion provides a unique aesthetic; they have a naive quality, yet retain a rawness and truth to them.  They are formed in that moment and can never be replicated; I see this as a very suitable medium to my context, both being quite personal. I have also found a balance of both text and image through mono-prints; the visual being represented by the intermittent ink off print. From these and my other works, I will continue to identify further how text and image can be harmonized.



[1] Will Hill, The Schwitter’s Legacy; Language and Art in the early Twentieth Century, Essay

[2] Aimee Selby, Art and Text (Book), 2009