A series of works on paper exploring the dialogue between one side of a garden wall and the other. The ideas were initially inspired by a trip to Japan, where I found myself spending a lot of time wandering around gardens and being drawn particularly to the large stone walls bordering and separating the grounds. Built initially to keep something in or out; for privacy, security or containment, what interested me most was the way that over time, the walls had become overgrown with mosses and vines. The militaristic, security-oriented nature of the wall had been softened so the effect became more intriguing than deterring. The presence of the wall in this environment creates instead the premise of a lush green garden, hidden away from everything and everyone: a beautiful concept.

Although walls are generally built to be impenetrable to humans (without ladders, bulldozers etc.), there are always suggestions evident of what exists on the other side. Overhanging trees, cracks in the mortar or a vine creeping through provide enough clues for the imagination to take over. Even if what actually does exist on the other side is not particularly interesting, the inkling of what may exist there is.

I also find the historical and social connotations of walls interesting. Having long been used as barriers in the form of fortifications, borders and enclosures, the nature of these walls are harsh and solid. The concept of building these structures over vast distances in order to cease certain aspects of human behaviour seems quite incredible, especially considering that they were built by humans to keep other humans out or in. The suburban houses and gardens that are surrounded by endless hedges, fences, enormous walls, electronic gates and alarms are similarly intriguing to me. The reasoning of these preventative measures becomes blurred as to whether the focus is on keeping something out or locking something in. In all cases, the reason for the existence of a wall can have entirely opposite responses depending on one’s experience of it: threatening or secure, private or confining, alienating or intriguing.

My works are a series of drawings exploring these ideas and inspired by photographs I have taken of garden walls both locally and overseas. The works are created on a paper surface that is layered with tissue paper, paint and a binding medium. I then work on top of this surface with pen, ink and paint.

Freerange Gallery

339 Wellington Street, Perth

Exhibition Dates: Wednesday 3rd February – Sunday 14th February 2010