'In the Thin Places'
The ancient Celts believed in the existence of ‘thin places’ – portals or thresholds, representing a permeable barrier that allowed passage from this world to another. In some respects, my work can be said to be situated at the intersection of two worlds, or realities, in an eerie borderland of fragments and ruined structures. All graffiti shown here can be found in the vicinity of my studio, and when thus appropriated, becomes a signifier for this terra nullius, blurring the boundaries between artifice and the real.

Graffiti when encountered in those spaces that lie just beyond the familiar, or behind the built and landscaped facade, is an expression of a phantom culture that communicates only with itself, addressing an unseen and unknown audience. We are here cast unexpectedly as the outsiders, interlopers, trespassing in these edgelands, and excluded from this dialogue. We are confronted by an archaeological palimpsest of ritual marks and a lost semiosis: a visual history of dialectics, polemic and provocation. Paradoxically, graffiti as symbol, language and art, at the moment of its greatest vitality and affirmation, appears curiously moribund, anachronistic, dead. That it should then be the art and lingua franca of these spaces is perhaps no coincidence.

‘Folly (noun) – a building in the form of a castle, temple, etc, built to satisfy a fancy or conceit, often of an eccentric kind’ (Collins Dictionary).
‘Folly (Contrived Ruin #1)' and ‘Folly (Contrived Ruin #2)', charcoal drawings made from models of cardboard, cork and cement. While considering titles for these works, it occurred to me that the structures I build in the studio could also be described as 'follies’ in the architectural sense: they are made solely for effect and the expression of an idea (metaphor and playful indulgence as opposed to utility), belying the physical realities of their construction. They have the character of 'cut-outs’, 2 dimensional facades, an ornamental edifice intended to be viewed only from one location. In other words, an illusion, a sham.