Combining the free play of chance and the obsessive repetition of needle work, my maps plot both psychic and social spaces. Splattered paint or dripped tea become the raw material from which territories are charted and orientation is determined.
Surrealism stimulated several novel techniques for soliciting and exploiting chance effects. Of Automatism Breton states “It is not a question of drawing, it is simply, a question of tracing,' meaning that art was only the means of recording the visible configurations of images that existed in the subconscious.”
The heavy weight unpressed paper used to create my work is designed to resemble the animal skins on which Portolian Sea Charts were typically inscribed. Exploring unknown regions of the psyche is comparable to travelling through unfamiliar territories at sea, with orientation determined only by the unseen forces, in the case of medieval sea travel, wind and magnetism. Word play referring to the psyche is often aquatic, with the unconscious below the surface of the water and the conscious above.
The second type exhibited, chart not individual psychic contents, but social interaction over a drink or brew. Playing on the varying traditions or cultural patterns associated with tea, coffee and red wine, they literally map intuitive and unconscious movements during the consumption of the given beverage. Stains and cup rings, encouraged by pots, decanters and cups especially selected for their tendency to drip, become continents and compass roses on sheets of handmade paper.
The social maps respond to the tradition of tea ceremonies and the cultural practice of tea parties. Traditionally the tea ceremony is an opportunity for a host to express hospitality to his or her guests. Coffee drinking does not have the same cordial association, it is typically something people meet for at a neutral location. Wine is drinking with its practice of toasting and its capability to inebriate again fosters different patterns of behaviour. However in each case, a space for a exchange is created, a space which I attempt to chart.
This exhibit includes four mental maps, as well as two social maps resulting from a “Social Tea Reading” event held at Chinatown Remixed and a wine cheese which occurred at the arts studio with fellow artists. The artist will host a “Coffee Ceremony” during the vernissage. Visitors will be invited to pull up a chair to share a coffee or tea over a large round sheet of handmade paper. She will sew the subsequent coffee map, over the course of the exhibition.