This body of work is the result of a process of investigation into my own studio practice, an attempt at its systematic deconstruction, and a response to both a sense of moral impotence felt during the pandemic and a profound environmental existential anxiety. Confronted by the overwhelming environmental problems facing the world, my former studio practice seemed vain, selfish and indulgent. What is it that my work consisted in but taking precious resources and turning them in to useless objects?
My crisis was a psychological one; of confidence and of meaning, and a search for value. My solution was to subject my entire practice to a sort of forensic examination. I wanted to look at my practice with fresh eyes, as though it were someone else's work, to better understand it's essential properties and constituent parts. I pulled my work apart, both intellectually and physically, peeling the skins of paint from their supports and categorising them according to a basic taxonomy. I attended to the sides and reverse of the support gleaning the incidental and unintentional traces and evidence of my former endeavours.
The resulting skins, fragments and traces of paint are presented sandwiched between sheets of glass like specimens. In an effort to capture and convey the spirit of dispassionate enquiry which informed my investigation I have presented them as 'findings' rather like a 19th century entomological collection. They provide a record or index of past artistic endeavours, a 'natural history' of my creative self.
Endgame is the modus operandi of all future creative work. I will use only those materials already available in the studio; using up, repurposing and recycling what I already have without consuming more. After over 30 years of making art, there's quite a build up. Presented without ulterior motive, not as a vehicle or a means to some other end but as pure materiality, as an end in itself. I want merely to register my creative presence in the world in as honest and straight-forward a way as possible.