In the past 15 years I have been investigating ideas of the animal and exploring Australian native animal pattern to consider the communication potential of the marks. In particular the marks and patterns that I have focused on are those of spotted and striped creatures – pardalotes, numbats, quolls and thylacines.
These prints form a visual response to the animal and explore a possible cross-species communication that has a certain poetic and metaphoric power. Each work uses the repeating possibilities of the printing matrix to extend the patterns and form an immersive field. The method of production incorporates finely cut block plates that resemble web or fabric when printed.
My ideas have been influenced by the zoologist Jakob von Uexküll who pioneered an understanding of the perceptual world of animals and humans. He described environments that are closed worlds in which each animal operates, captivated and held by marks of significance that activate behaviours. These bubbles (the enclosed perceptual space) also interconnect to other environments via a web, or score. The visual richness of these descriptions by Uexküll, of alternate worlds – connected and yet isolated – is considered in the work and has underpinned my production in the studio.
More recently I have been interested in the quality of the torn print and incorporated the uniqueness of this action and outcome into another series of prints that reference the natural world.