Systems, Patterns, Symbols and other Bits and Bobs

Two years after I completed my degree in painting, I decided to trade in my paintbrushes for cutter knives as my prefered implements and began to use carpets as a material for making art. This dramatically altered my approach to making art as well as my understanding what art can be.
I started to develop a catalogue of symbols in 1993; this directly influenced my carpet-based pieces as well as my drawings. In subsequent years, I realised a series of twenty 2m x 2m carpet pieces in which shapes and symbols relay formulas and depict situations in the lives of those who actually make them.
The content of these compositions springs from everyday problems thematised in the media as well as socio-political events. While the Gulf War was raging, carpets depicted bombs and bridges made of dislocated organs.

I'm also interested in exploring the quasi-formulaic nature of depictions and the extent to which they express some sort of 'structure' visually. Some of these carpet-works, such as "Gesprächs-Ventilator" (discussion fan), "TV- Abend zu zweit" (a TV evening for 2) and "Sendeschluss" (end of broadcast) and the installation "talk-talk", which I realised in 2009, deal directly with the notion of communication in its own right.

My catalogue of symbols has grown continually, becoming a dictionary of shapes arranged as groups of meanings. I put elements together associately, playfully cutting things out and gluing them together, to then incorporate them into installations or works-on-paper.

Again and again, one sees chairs, lightbulbs and weapons, bombs and weapons both the sense of battle as well as on a metaphorical level for as aggressive behaviour that separates people in social contexts. There is something archetypical, metaphorical, even inherently allegorical at the heart of the meanings therein- these, however, can not always be precisely determined and may remain vague. Playing with meanings, confusing those who behold the work in question, or even confronting viewers with unsettling insights are all important ideas in my artwork, whether the piece in question is realised as a photograph, drawing, collage, a 3-D object or as an installation. All of these materials are means to an end- the transformation of language and images.

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