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’

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. I find a level of uncertainty arises when both image and text are included in one piece of art, this is an important factor to my practice, and how my audience perceives my art.

Idris Khan’s wall drawings have been of great influence to me, when it comes to text/image combination. My dissertation titled; The Treachery of Images: Investigating the uncertainty of using both text and image together in an artwork through the analysis of Idris Khan’s ‘Wall Drawings. In my paper, I discovered many vital points that lead me to adapt my own practice so I could achieve art that is both text and image simultaneously, which I believe Khan does successfully in his work as he composes an image through the build-up of stamped text, so the artwork is seen as both factors.

Printmaking is a huge interest to me, with how each print made is completely unique and cannot be replicated, I experiment with various processes in my practice. Recently I have developed my own printing method that I believe allows text and image to be seen equally within an artwork. The printing method involves carving text into a polystyrene cone which I then create a print from by rolling the cone in a circular motion. The motion of spinning the cone is a reflection and replication of thoughts that swirl around in my mind; my thoughts concerning death and dying are the focus of my practice. I believe the image I create is both ambiguous, yet hints at possibilities. Through my process of printing, I realised it helped me alleviate my fears, as I am physically pushing them all away.

As mentioned, the subject of death is the context of my work and has been a reoccurring theme throughout my practice. My recent work confronts my personal fear of dying. Using text within this personal context allows me to de-construct this fear in a much deeper and more significant mode of thought[2] My use of text comes from a mixture of my own direct thoughts about dying and chosen song lyrics that personally help me understand death. My passion for music has always come through in my art, I see it as a form of therapy, the lyrics I chose to use in my work have resonated with me and in some way, alleviate my fears.

The illegibility of the text within the print is a depiction of these overwhelming thoughts that plague my mind; not being able to fully read the text, embodies the feelings of uncertainty. With my work, I want the viewer to experience my inner frustration and read into my mind. This illegibility within the text allows the print to be seen as both an image and text artwork; when viewing the work, you are first greeted by an image of a circular motif, however upon closer inspection text begins to appear. So, the image is composed from text and the piece can be seen as both factors depending on where you situate yourself in proximity to the print, like Idris Khan’s process, yet my work directly illustrates my personal context and replicates my mind through the visual or the final print and throughout the process of making the print.


[1] Will Hill, The Schwitter’s Legacy; Language and Art

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