Every so often, in an art practice, you get to a stage where everything just falls apart around you. You start asking questions like, 'why do I make what I make?' 'why do I paint?' 'why do I paint the way I do?'. This happened recently and I felt so indifferent to the work I was making. For me this often happens when I have immersed myself too heavily in the academic or theoretical research part of my practice. Although my practice would not be where it is without research, there is something to be said about hiding behind it so much that you end up creating work as a time filler or as a result of not understanding something conceptual. Therefore, I have this thing I call a 'pull back' which occurs whenever I get this feeling that I have strayed too heavily into the theoretical. It is a behavioural quality within my practice, where I pull back to fundamentals, back to basics, back to what actually inspires me.
Whilst in this kind of rut or transition stage in the paintings, I walked away and started making photo collages and drawings, it is a way of playing that I frequently revert back to as a way of ticking over; creating shapes and compositions that could be used further down the line in paintings. However, this time round they became much more of an autonomous action rather than a simple time filler. I began playing with this idea of duration, going back through my own photographs as well as archive photographs of the same places or same themes.
The way in which I see the world is so so associative with visual imagery, I incessantly take photographs whether that's on my phone, DSLR or on a disposable film camera. They capture moments and specific times, weathers, conditions, colours, shapes and form. The photo collages became a fun way of playing with this very personal capturing of a scene or enviornment and then editing, cropping and collaborating with historical photographs or archive material that at that time would have been associated with the very places I was taking photographs of decades later.
Creating these compositions was purely driven by aesthetics and shapes looking well placed next to each other or alternatively looking at odds with eachother. It was a great way of getting out of my head and making work that just existed wihtin itself as a thing that was aesthetically driven; this attitude sparked in me a drive to produce new paintings.