Calanais Standing Stones Print Series, 2019
This print series emerged through research while on-site in Calanais (Callanish), on the Isle of Lewis. It was born out of a desire to record place without relying on the photographic image.
This series investigates documenting a Thin Place, a location where the barrier between this world the spiritual or divine is thinner. Documentation is an important part of any journey. A recurring question for me has been, what evidence is required to show that a journey or transformation has occurred? How does one document the temporal nature of liminality?
Most journeys (whether spiritual or artistic in nature), in recent times, seem to be documented through the photographic image. However, I have been cautious to utilise this medium as I think it is fragmenting the way we experience time, more specifically creating the feeling of acceleration. The very act of taking a photograph results in removing oneself from experiencing the present moment and instead, one is in a state of observation and voyeurism.
As a method of recording, I drew on small custom-made waterless litho plates while on site, drawing on the surrounding landscape and experience for inspiration. I was interested in taking a medium that is primarily tied to a studio space due to technical restrictions and see if I could record the immediacy of a Thin Place. Because I limited the use of recording with photographic images, it is through these plates that I captured my observations. While the plates ended up being more representational than I initially expected, I realised it was an attempt to better imprint in my mind what I was seeing. This translated into a conscious effort to capture the sites through my own hand through the act of drawing.
Once back in the studio, I worked with these small plates to experiment with mixing colour, Chine-colle, and over-printing.