Past Desire Catches the Cloaked Present
This installation explores a breach between the picturesque and the grotesque. Three medium-format photographic prints feature a long-abandoned sawmill, situated in a typically-romanticized coastal landscape, along the remote coast of British Columbia: an old dilapidated dock, cabin, and a boat visibly reference the working past of this regenerating land. One large-format print on the wall depicts a beehive burner, which had fueled the operations of this small mill. Two large-format dye sublimation prints on translucent taffeta hang in nearby windows: one figuring a hummingbird, and the other a circular graphic with radiating spokes – the shape visible from inside the burner, when looking up. This internal view is doubled in a video projection that serves to animate as well as also physically pull the viewer toward the circular shape as clouds pass overhead: innocent, ominous.
The grotesque is what we do not see: caught by the flickering light, incapable of escaping once inside the burner – a trap for hundreds of hummingbirds for a brief period each summer. A voracious, industrial past, now cloaked in the picturesque.
3. Burner Spokes, 1 of 2 window panels in Past Desire Catches the Cloaked Present, 206.5 x 283 (81.3 x 111.5”), dye sublimation print, 2009. Installation at the Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.