THAT WAS YESTERDAY
My practice is a framework of exploration in composing rhetoric; making active comments on issues related to our current social, political and environmental climate.
…”of the world as a malleable structure susceptible to our infantile desire to continually take it apart and remake it.” (Smith, 2006)
Subjects in the painting(s) are extracted from photographs taken on a recent research trip to Detroit. These selections are reconstructed using watercolour in an empty but familiar landscape where collage and perspective are employed to draw focus to the nature of social displacement, and the (now) globalised site of fallen local industry. Specific reference is made to the people working to make positive change, including the Heidelberg Project and The Greening of Detroit.
The urban and architectural alchemy as composition show common components from home and work as mere constructions of superfluous entropic debris, highlighting the shaky demarcations between waste and value via progressive obsolescence.
“They failed to create a social utopia… worshipping the machine… they became servants of an economy that plundered the future in order to power the engines of production and consumption for the present.” (Kunstler, 1994.)
Flattened cardboard boxes are the remainder from a process; of a purchase, of a product from an industry, of packing, of transportation, of a transaction. These transactions are recorded in porcelain and stoneware, materials of permanence yet fragility. Process, productivity, and labour are at the centre of this series of work, amongst play with the interactions between detournement, irony and good old-fashioned craftsmanship.
“…Yet no rank had we fishing glad rags woven by the blind.
Ours was a country of sockets. They were empty.
And yet within one would find all a child hopes –
our own sweet story, our own sweet life,
cut with the cloth of ecstatic strife….”(Smith, 2005)