Emulsion on board, 81.3×48.3 cm
This painting is the first in the investigation of non-places and commercial spaces where scale is an intrinsic part of the work. The board here references the size of screens in a local and universal sense. At 81.3×48.3cm it is the size laptop screens will currently go up to, TV screens start at whilst being an average size throughout a multitude of retail centres and business sectors. So far my paintings have depicted specific places however their spatial quality has been the focus. For the first work at this scale however I wanted the focus to be on the screen itself, though equally abstracted as previous works, so that a row of suspended screens is displayed, synonymous with airports and stations.
Marc Augé proposes that the ‘Frequentation of non-places today provides an experience of solitary individuality combined with non-human mediation (a notice or a screen) between the individual and the public authority’. The screen acts as an alienating yet uniting force, impersonal instructions which all consumers are complicit in, anonymity and solitude combined. Technology has given rise to empirical non-places, spaces of consumption, communication and circulation. As a subsection of this globalization as a concept embodies the idea of an allegedly free technological market which shrouds the earth however this could be seen to have led to complications as the world is now governed by technical, spatial, economic, scientific and political concerns. Screens therefore are increasingly becoming a mechanism of control without any apparent controlling force.
This mode of control is not apparent in the work however, potentially as the depiction is to factual and removed from a space where the controls are prevalent. Looking at this piece retrospectively though there is a correlation with Peter Halley’s cells and conduits where lines are used to denote metaphorical spatial splits and social control is discussed. The geometric divisions of social spaces in contemporary society takes precedent over form in his work, space metaphorically and physically contorted. The size of Halley’s work is dictated by its relationship to the body, wanting the viewer to be all but consumed by the piece. For my work however, having tested a larger scale, an intimate experience seems to work more successfully as the viewer is able to project what they want onto the space depicted.
Halley outlines that he sees space in a 2D form, every place intrinsically flattened whilst colour commonly dictates form or the cell structure. The insertion of colour in my work round the edge of the screens denotes the differing information displayed in even one room, a multitude of instructions given. This addition of colour has worked more usefully here than in previous pieces as it gives the work a spatial quality which is absent in form and structure. It is this spatial quality however which I want to be stronger so that the viewer can reference what is depicted back onto the spaces they associate with daily. In displaying this work I have again referenced the structure of the screen, using a TV arm to push the work away from the wall and project it out into the room, Halley uses wide stretchers to achieve a similar effect. In doing this the work interacts with the exhibition space more whilst actively confronting the viewer and is a more successful use of space than having the paintings flushed flat against the wall.