My work is embedded in a conceptual matrix based on geographical and ethnographic research using a qualitative methodology and an engagement with human geography.

In my practice, I am drawn to the significance we place on certain sites and locations, particularly the conventions of fact and fiction that are framed in a specific place and time. The cultural perceptions attributed to any place has been described as a “place myth” – namely an amalgamation of place images, stereotypes and cliché. [1]
Arguably this is based on an assumption that we are “sensuous creatures who develop emotional attachments to particular landscapes”[2].
This hypothesis could explain the narrative and storytelling compulsion which underpins my video work in connection with location, environment and cultural history. 

Depending on the context of journey and place, I react intuitively to the landscape and natural environment through the mediums of video photography and audio.

For example, in 2018 I journeyed to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone where I recorded the unnerving sound of a Geiger counter buzzing and clicking in abandoned villages contaminated with insidious levels of radiation. The rise in pitch heighted an almost physical tension in the virtual silence.
At the moment of recording I have no agenda apart from an awareness of fundamental technical issues such as keeping the camera steady, and in focus.

I am completely unconscious of motive or concern as to whether the raw footage will ever make its way into a completed work. Pat Murphy, the Irish film maker described the act of recording digital images as equal to “clearing a space for something to happen.”[3]

After my travels I have time to reflect on my experiences and the potential applications for final video and installation projects. The video footage and sound recordings I collect become part of my digital sketchbook and archive – a rich vein of possibility in a practice directed by observation, fieldwork and ethnography. Gravitating to the ephemeral quality of recording in the post- production process, I experiment with colour, speed, and opacity. Each element is choreographed and blended to create a visual fugue. I review each edit in scrupulous detail to select which are the essential temporal and special components and what is extraneous to my concept and intentions. The editing process has a synergy similar to that of a painter by layering colour and scraping back to reveal the essence of the work beneath.
The final refined visual imagery or soundscapes I create aim to direct the viewer without effort or artifice between feeling and thought, from the universal to the personal, from reality to the abstract.

Berleant[4] reminds us that as social animals, our experiences are made up of the interplay between the perceptual, material, environmental and performative. It follows that a viewer’s critical engagement with an artwork should be based on the same aesthetic paradigm.
I aim through my work to reflect the dynamics of the human psyche and hold up a mirror to who we really are.

[1] Shiels R (1991) Places On the Margin: Alternative Geographies of Modernity London Routledge

[2] Orr D (2002) The Nature of Design Culture and Human Intentions Oxford University Press P24

[3] Annaghmakerring, Shiela Pratschke (Ed) 2006 Lilliput Press, P 138

[4] Berleant A (2010) Sensibility and Senses:
The Aesthetic Transformation of the Human World accessed 14/05/19

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