Emulsion on board, 81.3×48.3cm
Yi Fu Tuan propose that space is transformed into place as it acquires definition and meaning. The essence of non-places and contemporary spaces is that they are continually fluctuating however and therefore their parameters are hard to define. This is both in a physical and metaphorical sense as they are continually expanding to make room for new consumer desires whilst taking on innovative functions to adapt to the ever changing global market. Places occur when there is a pause in movement; the ‘pause makes it possible for a locality to become a centre of felt value’ (Tuan). In order to depict globalised sites and capitalist spaces therefore the focus has to be on their current spatial quality, all such modern spaces sharing the same architectural basis the world over. By reducing them to bare abstracted forms an airport can appear as a shopping centre and bus station as a business lounge, defined by seemingly bland architecture and redundant features.
In the same way as the last piece the size of this painting references an average screen size throughout non-places, commercial sectors and offices. I have returned however to depicting an open space, with endless interpretations rather than one with defined features. The site here is an amalgamation of several spaces, the hidden corner proposing an extension of the space into a hidden void. The blue line, whilst referencing the edges of screens, draws the viewer’s eye through the work, prompting them to consider the use and prevalence of the space depicted. It is apparent that it is a contemporary space being depicted, somewhat redundant and mirrored worldwide and interpretations have varied from carpark, to hospital to airport corridor. This is a strength which has not been apparent in some previous works, functionality and anonymity encapsulated.
There is a familiar yet alien quality which stems from the abstracted nature of the piece. Past pieces have been overviews or diagrammatically representational and this means that the viewer does not have to play such an active role as everything is encapsulated. By leaving the work more open the paintings promote a higher level of intrigue, the viewer a participator, waiting for something to happen on the stage depicted. This is commonly a practice which can be found more in photography works and can be seen in Vittorio Ciccarelli’s ‘Invisible’ series (2013). He focuses on specific features and the more mundane architectural topographies which have come to define non-places without revealing the identity of any of the spaces captured. This highlights the multiplicity of the contemporary urban landscape, the images, from guttering to street lights, denoting a landscape both empty and universal. I want to capture this notion of a recognisable void further in future works so that the space is simultaneously familiar yet alien.