Existing bodies

This body of work was inspired by my visits to Tuzla in the north east of Bosnia in 1996, to exhibit and to give art workshops to children. Another important part of this work was to take aid in the form of cultural aid and solidarity for the people of this town. From 1996 – 1999 I had been exhibiting and researching in Bosnia for various projects and the production of an artists book. The book was published in June 1998 and was funded by the Scottish Arts Council and Martin Bell MP.

In a series of wall pieces titled “seeing is believing” I use reversed text with mirrors to enable you to read the words that describe stories and encounters with people in Bosnia, the angle of the text and the mirrors are different on each piece, some are quite easy to read, others are not. In each case, whilst reading the text you can see varying amounts of your own reflection in the mirrors, reminding you of your existence and in some cases forcing you to feel as though you are intruding on these snippets of text, the intimacies of people’s experiences during this time.

The piece titled “Bev, Cavan, Kevin, Julie, Richard, Sam, Lars, Jossy, Barry” focuses on isolated details of the body, photographically transferred onto delicate oval glass supports. The ovals are indicative of mirrors yet cannot be used in such a manner. Your eyes are taken through the transparent images of the navel, the very core of our existence. A number of the images are duplicates, with differing exposure times therefore creating a fading versus strengthening effect.

The images in ‘evidence I & II’ are taken from trails made by insects and small animals in the condensation on plastic covering haystacks in Srebrenik, Bosnia. This is the only indication that these animals have been there. The text is printed onto glass and is the Bosnian and English translation of a poem written in remembrance of the children who died in 1995, in a park in Tuzla, Bosnia. This show was financially supported by the Scottish Arts Council to enable the publishing of an exhibition catalogue.

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