Powerplay Series 2016-2017
In the urban dictionary Powerplay is defined as the struggle to obtain power and exert control over an opponent.
Drawings: graphite, resin, tape and gesso on linen. 2016-2017
The inspiration for the Powerplay series began with the Russian sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic … objects left behind by an alien race are inscrutable to the humans who squabble over them. Objects referred to as ‘empties’ can be found in two states; two ends held together by an invisible force or full of liquid but without any visible means of containment. Material forces beyond our current knowledge led me to think about the discovery of graphene. The world's first two-dimensional material and the thinnest, strongest substance known to science. It can be stretched to a transparent membrane capable of containing gas yet allows water vapour to pass through it. The properties of graphene led me to think about the hidden power struggles that shape our current socio-political climate, invisible forces that hold things together or keep them apart, construct the narrative and control what is made visible.
Employing graphite and sticky tape this series began as an experiment in depicting an alien object with invisible forces but the nature and behaviour of matter itself became the subject. The pristine surface is doctored layered with restrictions, blocks and controls. Carbon the basic element of life takes its place as an actant in these performative drawings. Both metaphor and microcosm of the world we inhabit, matter makes visible the hidden forces and power plays inherent in the human condition.