A visit to the RHS garden at Hyde Hall this weekend. While everyone else was admiring views through the gardens, autumn flowers or leaves, I was peering at tree trunks. I was drawn to the variety of marks and patterns on the bark of the birches in particular. The lines suggest stitches. Or signal traces - morse code, electronic pulses. There's just enough suggestion of some kind of order without repetition. The way the lines were interrupted or changed by other marks - lichen, cracks or scars - also interested me.
Something I have been reading:
Exploring this process of perception and interpretation is at the heart of what I like to do. But at the same time I think marks and imagery are more interesting if they never quite resolve themselves but remain somewhat unexplained. Ambiguity leaves room for a wider range of interpretation. As soon as they resolve themselves into something definite it closes off some of the possible layers of meaning - which is far less engaging in my view.
The interpretation placed upon marks or images relates as much to the observer's own experience and concerns as anything in the imagery itself. I may have certain intentions for my work but am sometimes surprised by the things other people see. This is both rewarding and challenging. In some ways it is more challenging when I am working with marks that are less abstract. I like to retain that tension where the observer is not quite certain how to interpret the imagery. But the opposite problem is avoiding the kind of wilful obscurity or mystification that is merely annoying:
Plenty to think about while I develop and refine the pieces I'm working on in the studio.