The subject matter and methodology of making this set of work has been brewing a long time. The use of broken picture glass in the finished framing goes back to a painting I made in the early 1990s; I returned to it for one small painting about ten years ago and then it was mentally filed for sometime in the future… It looks like the time is now.
“Broken (working formalised)” is the title of the process.
“Imaginary self-portraits at the funeral of the imagination” is the collective title of the set of drawings.
I’ve always considered my work to be a process of starting with an idea that eventually goes wrong (breaking) and after a rest of a few days or so from the work I continue by trying to undo the mistakes and continue forward (mending). So I define my work process as being just repetitions of breaking and mending the artwork until I feel I can leave it at a point where it’s as most unbroken as I can manage at that time. I used to cut some finished paintings and then stitch them together again as a way of formalising that process within the work. The broken glass in the frame (which is then framed again to retain the original glass) is my new way of containing that formal narrative in these drawings.
The idea of ‘imaginary self-portraiture’ is an extension of the fact that every self-portrait (from ancient art history to modern mobile phone selfies) is a creative, rather than a documentary, act. We show what we want to project.
The narratives and titles within the drawings represent personal thoughts and reflections on my life. And the ‘funeral of the imagination’ is a personal observation on our mainstream contemporary visual culture.