Olivia Punnett

Festival: 2020

“Our dreams may seem very precise and well-defined while we are dreaming; and yet they may dissolve when we try to bring them in the sharp focus of our waking attention. They often seem to contain all and nothing.” Anton Ehrenzweig, The Hidden Order of Art.

Refractions distort the light-image; around the peripheries of shapes sparks of indigo, white and red flicker, breaking the uncertain projected image. A photograph is printed, then printed again, emphasising the texture of photogravure, then installed behind tinted or patterned glass, which moves the image once more from its original source. The various methods of projection fracture, while each technology imparts a particular aura, producing diverse narratives. Technology, trace, and error produce estrangements, while capturing layers of identities and rhythms of the past.

Memory and time are recurrent themes, for, as Steinbeck writes in The Grapes of Wrath ‘how will we know it’s us without our past?’ Yet memory is constructed, and escapes account relentlessly. The use of ephemeral materials and unfixed temporal arrangements articulates this in non-hierarchical constellations, combining with the architecture of the place of exhibition. The recesses of concrete, the rise and fall of architrave or skirting board, the indentations in the floor inflect the work.

Photographic images communicate the experience and concerns of the work, but more and more this is stripped back to light and the lens. The blurring or washed over effect contained in the effect of passing through different layers of imperfect glass, plastic or water are imposed upon imagery. Light through water, and the effects of the disembodied image, always one step removed from our reach.

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