graffito series · background

This series is based on graffiti artists' work found on a wall next to the remains of the Abbey of Saint Bertin in the city of Saint Omer, France. The Abbey was founded in the seventh century and destroyed during the French Revolution. An opening in the wall was sealed with plywood and provided a framed canvas for graffiti artists

The entire plywood covering was set back into a stone wall far enough to form a bench. The beauty of the massive stone frame in contrast to the delicate texture of the spray paint was impressive. This contrast was reversed when I moved in close to examine the graffiti marks. Now the marks provided the visual strength on top of the wood grain texture just like paint on canvas.

Relating elements of two separate images has created a third image. Butting images together and not blending them in a traditional digital collage style mirrors the plywood structure, the surface on which the original graffiti artists worked. This process, combined with image capturing techniques that isolated shapes and captured detail in the surface, does not allow you to see the work of the original artist as they intended.

Combining two images also changes the proportion of the image and tends to lead the viewer to see it from a greater distance. The texture of a large piece of plywood on a wall is perceived differently than a very small piece you can hold in your hand. Viewing these images up close allows you to see the grain of the wood and the texture of the strokes. Standing back and letting go of the detail allows you to see the new image that is created when two images are joined.

This work reflects some aspects of our lives. We are seen differently than we intend, we are placed in situations we may not plan, yet we relate and form new and unexpected unions that communicate and work in ways that could not be anticipated. We walk shoulder to shoulder with others forming groups and societies while maintaining our independence as well as our dependence.

The thoughts and responses provoked by these images are very personal. The name given to each image reflects only one thought or feeling that I had during the creation process. This series was completed in April 2004.