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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Voices for New Territories

I've been reflecting on 2011 and recall I was advised that it would be a year of voices for me and that I have so much more to say.

At the time I didn't really understand what that meant, but it makes sense to me now. I'm expanding into new territories, geographically, technically and conceptually, all which require different ways of communicating. I'm discovering voices appropriate to those new territories.

Geographical Expansion
Five countries have had exhibitions of my work this year. This wouldn't have happened without the commitment and vision of Mark Hutchins, John Turner, Nancy Moore, Crea and Ekrea.
Assume Nothing was a solo show in Spain and part of group shows in Nepal and America. Dying to Know was in a group show at the Ping Yao International Photography Festival in China. In New Zealand my new work SWEAT showed at Mark Hutchins Gallery. This included an interactive photographic installation Personal Taste and a collaborative video work Falling with sound artist Charlotte Rose.

This year Kirsty MacDonald's film Assume Nothing about my work has been screened in America, Canada, Germany, Spain, England, Australia and New Zealand. It now has no geographical boundaries as it's available as an online download at and currently is their film of the week.

Technological Expansion
Creating video installation work has definitely required a new voice, in fact a whole new language. It's been exciting and nerve wracking in equal measure and I haven't felt that technically vulnerable for a long time. At times the gap between my vision and my abilities seemed too large to navigate. However being part of Sense Collective meant I had a huge pool of talent and expertise to draw from the crew; Charlotte Rose, Kirsty MacDonald, Richard Swan and Matt Gillanders. We couldn't have done it without the generous support of Jack Byrne (dramaturg), Liz Ellis (compositor), Max Robinson (data wrangler), Mike Hodgson (AV mentor), Sue Uden and Richard Wemyss (assistants), Unitec (studio access) and Kingsize Studios (equipment supply).

Sense Collective is presenting our inaugural video installation MOVE at SPLORE music and arts festival February 17-19th 2012. The production stills above were taken by Richard Wemyss.

Conceptual Expansion
Here is where my vulnerability ramps up further. I remember starting art school aged 17 asking myself what do I have to say that's of any value? Life answered that for me and over the 23 years since graduating, my art has drawn on my life experiences, illness, sexual orientation and gender identity. In the background of all those experiences my primary inspiration has been my spirituality but my voice around that has been somewhat muffled as I perceived contemporary art and spirituality to be uncomfortable allies. However it is currently the answer to the question I asked myself as a 17 year old.

So my conceptual expansion means opening up to my spirituality as subject, methodology and outcome. I'm not sure exactly how that's going to look but I'm fully committed to, and excited by, the creative process- which for me is inherently a spiritual process.

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