‘Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere... Suppose the cube and sphere placed on a table, and the blind man made to see; query, whether by his sight, before he touched them, he could distinguish and tell which is the globe, which the cube?'
William Molyneux 1693
This speculation has resonated with me for many years since finding it quoted in an unidentified book review. In my mind’s eye I see the tableau vividly; the hands outstretched... but the objects themselves impossible to make out.
Of course it poses more questions than the one stated, but something I take from it is an understanding that seeing is a variable, personal, experience that involves the imagination. The construction of a form will never recreate the perfection of an idea: the aim is to create an experience of clarity, balance and objectivity in an erratic world.
It can be difficult for me to understand or explain the structure of some configurations that I make, despite the simple forms that are used. Similarly the viewer may be unclear about what they see or recall.
One key aspect is a wish to conceal elements or make them appear to change, offering uncertain, alternative resolutions (that may only exist in the mind). This includes the two-dimensional pieces. In the 80’s I made drawings using gloss, matt and eggshell blacks. From different viewpoints the planar relationships shifted as the light caught them, giving conflicting readings and resolutions of the image as would happen with a three-dimensional structure.
I have also displaced the drawn image within its frame or hung the frame askew on the wall around the image. Two series of square drawings, Four Points and Six Surfaces, can be hung with any side uppermost and their orientation will vary as they are added to the site.
The sculptures and installations incorporate the architectural spaces in which they are shown. Positive and negative corners or the walls connecting them may become the location for a structure. Interjacent Forms proposed in each case that a section was hidden, trapped within the wall of the gallery. The series Form From Form might be the logical conclusion to this. No extra material is used, it is simply the relocation of a slice of wall.
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