My work transgresses the fluidity of dreaming to abstractions of moments in time. In this series, the unrestored sections of the hauntingly beautiful, weathered architecture of Chateaux d’Orquevaux, in Champagne-Ardenne, France, along with the ‘presence’ that I felt during my residency there – was the inspiration for the ethereal and ghost-like layering I am seeking to capture with these works.
The estate holds a rich past, including its seizure by Nazi soldiers during the French occupation. These layers of history, the untold stories and moments suspended in time are a heaviness within the walls of the chateau. While beautiful, this weight encapsulates the significance of the past and its impact on our cultural identity.
Physical aspects of the past revealed themselves to me while I was there, emerging through the peeling paint, unfinished dreams soured in uncompleted repairs, old photographs with tired eyes, dried and dead flowers, empty picture frames, old antique chairs and washbasins, discarded ammunition crates and a rough engraving of a war motif into the sandstone wall. These items, like visual remnants of a rich and arduous past, contrasted with the grandeur of the newly restored sections of the chateau.
And this contrast, this contradiction is what is at the heart of this work. This series draws on this polarity of dark and light. It embraces the ages of time that are exposed in a splintered moment, creating ethereal imagery layered against the textures of our history.