Artist Statement Mop Projects 2005
Over the past several years I have been concerned with a range of questions which explore the notion of the uncanny. Photographing and painting nocturnal suburban environments has formed my practice while my masters paper described the uncanny in contrast to notions of the sublime. In the uncanny fear arises not in the face of extremes of nature but in the environment of the everyday. The character of this sensation is formed by its environment; it lacks the spiritual overtones and philosophical clarity of the sublime and is epitomised by a sense of darkness, a brooding presence, the self being consumed by the surrounding space.
The uncanny presents a reversal of the traditional viewers position, the environment feels alive with an unknown power yet this sensation is an externalisation of subconscious anxiety. The uncanny, grounded in the idea of home, is a particularly contemporary concern. In an increasingly globalised and technologically infiltrated world, notions of home are being revised.
It is the darker connotations of home, a reversal of this idea, that is expressed in the uncanny; a subversion of the everyday, a loss of a sense of home which dislocates the viewer’s sense of identity. My works explore the night time strangeness of light and shadow, the sense of stillness, the everyday made mysterious. An uncanny environment is as much a psychological space as it is a physical one. Any ‘landscape’ is a mirror for subjective attitudes. It is the intensely personal yet general experience of the uncanny which I find fascinating and revealing.