My current work exhibits an obsessive preoccupation with repetition, a futile quest for regularity and the setting up of simple systems and processes in an attempt to impose order upon chaos.
Repetition is an important element of ritual and in the process of creation, rituals are established and become an integral part of the work. In the Western world at least, religion has ceased to occupy a central role in the lives of the majority of people, but many anthropologists and psychologists believe that there is a basic human need for ritual, so that as religious beliefs begin to die out, other rituals are developed to take their place.
Layering is a method I frequently use in order to build up surfaces, one on top the other – a working method which is time consuming and long drawn out. It is easy for ritualized behaviour to become obsessional. Sigmund Freud believed that there was only a very fine line between the ritual behaviour of the pious and the obsessional behaviour of neurotics.
My most recent work has been moving closer towards an obsessional labour intentisive way of working which is process-orientated and in which there is often no underlying concept or idea. In this kind of work, the labour is its point. The process of obsession driven work is open-ended – there is no logical stopping point – the decision to stop has nothing to do with finishing the piece – it can only be a random choice.