I use drawing as a way
of thinking, and a way of bringing together apparently disparate ideas and
images. Through drawing I can start with a gut feeling,
a vague thought, a hunch or an idle observation and can distil and combine
these into something concrete.
Drawing has become the
major part of my studio practice, but I think of myself as a sculptor. Within
the drawings, I develop forms associated with architecture, maps, landscape,
water, vessels and containers, using a process (geometric linear perspective)
that involves producing a complex and almost transparent matrix. This web of
lines acts as scaffolding in which the images are created
and then held. Importantly, and possibly paradoxically, a strict
geometric drawing system such as perspective allows me to have an almost
purely intuitive response to ideas and images.
My approach to making
a drawing is comparable to that of the building a medieval/gothic cathedral,
where a relatively rigid two-dimensional ground-plan was put in place, and
the ensuing structure then developed organically, its form being the result
of varying amounts of intention, pragmatism, accident and ambition.
The drawings continue
to celebrate the physical sculptural pleasure found in constructing/building,
cutting and carving, but the images and structures within the drawings can
exist without the constraints of gravity, scale and materials. Seen as a
whole, the subject matter of my work is the three dimensions (and more), and
it therefore follows that the work also touches on light/optics,
philosophical, scientific/mathematical as well as purely physical ideas. I am
particularly interested in medieval and early renaissance architecture,
painting and perspective, and in particular, the work of Brunelleschi,
Masaccio and Piero della Francesca. The influences also range from Merleau-Ponty’s notions of depth being the primary
dimension to architectural, alchemical and cosmological images. For instance,
I have made drawings that refer directly to cathedral architecture, in
particular, playing on the connection between boat structures and the
derivation of the word nave. Other drawings have played on ideas relating to
̵distillation’ and laboratory glassware.
My work also continues
to be informed by my earlier experience, of studying
astrophysics at university, and I am aware that there is still common ground
between some of my ideas and those within some areas of science. The drawings
have also led me to making sculpture in a variety of other materials,
including paper and rubber, and to working in other media, such as photo
etching and embossed printmaking techniques.
Click here Contact
My studio practice has led me to question some of the orthodox
thinking regarding the history and origins of Linear Perspective and its use
within early Renaissance painting. A peer-reviewed paper published in 2003 in
the Nexus Journal of Architecture and Mathematics raises issues relating to
the use of geometry, proportion and perspective not only within the paintings
of Masaccio and Piero della Francesca, but also in the paintings of Domenico
Veneziano, Uccello and Leonardo da Vinci. It
discusses the possible origins of perspective and its relationship to
architecture and pictorial space during the renaissance, and ultimately,
questions the orthodox history of perspective.
Click here Contact
The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate an approach and method
for constructing perspectival space that may
account for many of the distinguishing spatial and compositional features of
key Renaissance paintings. The aim of the paper is also to show that
this approach would not necessarily require, as a prerequisite, any
understanding of the geometric basis and definitions of linear perspective as
established by Alberti. In particular, the paper discusses paintings in
which the spatial/geometric structure has often defied conventional
reconstruction when the strict logic of linear perspective is applied.
It specifically examines the spatial construction of four very different
paintings in order to explain how the geometry and methods involved may shed
light on Brunelleschi's architecture, as well as on some of the questions and
issues surrounding the history, origins and nature of linear perspective.
Briefly, I propose
that an explanation for the unique compositions and the apparent
inconsistencies of many paintings is that their spatial structures have not
been generated purely using the logic of linear perspective. I would
argue that their distinctive characteristics are not the result of making a
projection from a ground plan or constructing a pavimento.
Rather they are the result of developing a space using a particular
two-dimensional geometric construction -- a matrix -- to create a ready-made
framework into which the imagery is then fitted.
Further, I would say that the imagery within the paintings is
sometimes directly inspired by the geometry and imagery of the matrix itself. The matrix contains both a surface grid/pattern and the diminishing proportions that provide the characteristic convergence, and the controlled changes of scale necessary to create the spatial illusion.
More information on
this research can be found at:
Click here Contact
Back to top