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The idea of sharing an exhibition space was the inspiration for this work. The Abel Joseph Gallery is a long thin space with basically two walls one to the north and one to the south wall. The north wall is broken up into three sections framed by doorways on both ends. The south wall is a nine meter expanse with no architectural interference. Therefore I decided with Francis Bekemans to photograph the north wall and install my works virtually into the photograph.
A new series of works were created with this exhibition in mind.
My photography has always been deeply seeded in nature. I seek out images whose forms repeat, creating geometric patterns and shapes. Primarily the scenes are backgrounds and the manner of exposing the film highlights the geometry. My system of taking photographs was used to create the background of the mural.
I wanted something contrasting to layer into the mural. So I turned to my digital camera and took a series of snapshots from the four elements Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
These snapshots were all taken during vacations or travels, The Water series came from a seaside vacation in Zeeland, The Netherlands. The Earth series was shot on a hiking trip through the moors in Brabant, The Netherlands. On a trip home from Brugge, Belgium I grabbed my camera while driving to shoot cloud formations as a storm began to brew. These became the basis of the Air series. Finally I went to Vienna, Austria for a festival to drive out winter and welcome in spring. A huge bonfire was ignited to scare off the winter spirits and I was on hand to capture my Fire series.
These digital photos were brought into my computer cropped colorized and converted into vector drawings. Converting the jpeg's into vectors was a means of allowing a more personal touch than just cutting and pasting photos into another photo. By tracing the original photo I gain control over shapes and color. The series seemed to have endless possibilities. I needed a system or process to control the beginning and end of the project. Vectors are mathematical calculations so I borrowed from this to establish my process for determining the series size. I had 4 elements 3 primary and 3 secondary colors and 6 variations equaling 144 images in total. These 144 images told a story of the Four Elements but did not refer to the travels that captured the images.
While traveling, but not necessarily the travels associated to the Four Elements series, I began to notice typefaces partially cropped or defaced. Newspapers folded in half; billboards seen through a window; various signs or ads obstructed from view all led to the use of type in my works. I saw type purely as design and not a method of transporting a meaning. The various font faces in my computer allowed me another method of confining the series while still allowing each piece to be completely unique. The type further enforced the interest in layering. My works have always been assembled in layers; one transparent layer on top of another until the image is complete (refers to the lithographic printing process).
The type-font face compositions are also a metaphor for me the artist as a viewer. I created a direct connection between my personal relationship to the individual elements and the spatial correlation assumed by the type's density.
Fire is for me the most fascinating so therefore the type appears to be completely integrated into the image. Water, (and perhaps due to the lack of any natural swimming abilities), becomes the furthest spatial relation between type and photograph. The rendering of the type in Air and Earth are partially transparent not to hide the image but to incorporate myself with those elements.

The final piece is an Inkjet print on PVC mesh measuring 843cm x 262cm titled "Exhibiting"

 
 

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