Ghosts are the embodiment of the lack of – the missing of - the longing for – the haunted by – the embodiment of the past that impedes upon the present. Disruption creates for us a silhouette of something that was but is no longer –
We are left with a ghost of our past taking the form of fears, dreams, longing, mourning, nostalgia, loneliness.
A ghost is something that leaves its mark upon us like a kind of branding burnt somewhere between the realms of our consciousness. Sometimes blatantly there - obviously before us, but sometimes a mere flutter of movement on the periphery of our vision, hinting at a deeper truth that we can only guess at.
A ghost need not be taken literally or it may be just as well. Ghosts make up our existences in the minutest of moments: a jar missing from a shelf, the empty side of a bed, a ring of condensation where a glass rested – all representative of the missing past – where something was but is no longer.
The lack of something can be more powerful than its presence ever was for once we are missing it its form is changed in our minds - altered and distanced.
The imagination takes over, filling in gaps where our memories fail us – falsifying, justifying, rationalizing. Ultimately creating sustenance for us to feed upon because a ghost fills an empty space while simultaneously leaving it blank.
This photographic series focuses on the enduring motif of the White Asphodel (Asphodelus Albus). The image of the Asphodel Meadows is most associated with Homer’s poetic tradition of describing the meadows of the afterlife. These images have all been produced in a unique and closely guarded style developed over many years making each work unique and impossible to reproduce.
Tramontana, the cold northern wind in the Mediterranean, (from Latin, ‘beyond the mountains’) has the power to transform islands such as Minorca into undesirable places. When the last tourist leaves at the end of August, and English is not the language anymore, and the pools close, and the smell of sunscreen fades away, the Tramontana kicks in. At first, the aim was to find grey skies, sad faces, misery and SOS signs which would portray the loneliness and devastation an island forgotten nine months a year is bound to have. However, there was nothing like this to be found in Minorca. The islanders were happy to be there, life did not come to a halt after the summer. This wind, la Tramontana, which may come across as the enemy, transforming the island into a hostile place, actually protects it. It acts as a shield, enabling the locals to have their months of serenity and solitude, a feeling which society tends to dismiss. And so parting from a false thesis I understood what I was really looking at, an exploration of sought loneliness.
This series reveals period photographs pierced with needles, covered with pearls, peppercorns, feathers, corals or seashells. A storytelling emerges from those “hand-made” manipulations of images. The masked portraits present several types of ghosts, as if a malediction stroke the family with different punishments. What to read into all these signs, what omen do they carry?
Coming and going white pressure, creates unnoticeable damage on the transparent surface. Combined with layer upon layer, developed over time it forms a forever changing map. The distorted shield obscures the submerged. Desperation, pain, anxiety and insecurity is pushed down and blend together is the deep darkness. Suppressed until the tension becomes overwhelming, and creates agitated hot streams. Boiling up, melting parts of the underside. Concurrently the outside pressure drills itself down and through, leaving a black gaping hole. The pressure merges with the boiling flow, silencing it. Slowly allowing the shield to become it's complete self again.
Missing May, 2017 explores my recent experience with the sudden grief of losing a close friend to suicide in 2016. Lost in attempting to comprehend her sudden disappearance and the trauma it had caused, it felt right to explore the aftermath/process that had weighed upon me through the photographic medium. It began with the fear of seeing her after her death; the method arose from this and I began to document every moment that I believed I saw her until it stopped happening. This resulted in a series of candid photographs of women from behind their heads, unaware and unrecognisable – her ghosts, along with words I wished to tell her.
My work is concerned with the relation between machinery and craft. Photography has both: machinery: camera, enlarger, process machine, and craft: handmade of the photographer. Analogue photography as a sequence of repetitions, where both, machine and human, repeat same gestures again and again. Also the craft is related to the sense of touch which gets amplified by working in the darkroom. I always need to touch my images. Texture is important and started to use liquid emulsion to apply on different surfaces. Also liquid emulsion is an unexpected process where outcome is a bitout of control, opposite to the idea of representation of reality that photography has been always tried to achieve.
TOUCH, CHANCE, CRAFT, NOSTALGIA.
Nostalgia is the main idea that surrounds and links these ideas of touch, machinery and craft, the unexpected or uncontrolled, and getting lost in spaces in between where nothing is sure. Svetlana Boym says “nostalgia is a longing of a home that no longer exists or most likely, has never existed. What about if nostalgia is not related to a home or to a nation or to a house? What about if nostalgia is this space in-between where we feel lost and need to come back or go forward? What about nostalgia is more related to the body, to the skin, to the touch that we missed at some point in life?
Starting from the concept of Phaneron, coined by philosopher and semiologist Charles S. Peirce, that indicates the totality of what exists in our mind, filtered by sensory perception, my research aims at emphasizing the many differences that can be found in the analysis of the subjective perception of reality.
The focal point of this research is to create a symbolic view of the cognitive impossibility of the existence of an absolute objective reality; Through this process create a bridge to get a direct communication of the sensible subjective reality between the artist and the spectator. As I have already had the opportunity to experience, the best way to analyze and express these concepts is for me to work closely with the environment in which the installations will be exhibited. This method of work allows me to realize works that are complementary to the structure that hosts them, thus creating a more intense relationship between works and viewers. My work goes simultaneously with the experimentation of different materials, making the installations versatile to different situations, both in terms of their structure and the possibility of visual integration into the surrounding environment.
My research method is structured on three simultaneous steps; studying the matter I'm analyzing, finding new materials and techniques that will allow me to express a specific idea in the best way possible, and at the same time confront myself with a variety of different people of the community I'm working in, to get an effective communication between the idea that my works are going to express and the viewers that will interact with them.