Mountain of Salt (2020-21) is an expansive body of work comprised of found images, appropriated text and digital shape collages, initially conceptualised as a human response to the unfolding of covid-19. In March 2020 as the pandemic gripped the world, I like many others became acutely aware of the landscape in which we were living in, where everything felt amplified; clinging to the news for updates, statistics and curves – in my own way analysing the myriad forms of information being shared – for me it highlighted the way words and speech have a physical presence, a bearing upon us and carry weight.
This text-based series of collages focuses on the language used over the last year and developed from the collecting of words and sentences derived from politicians, journalists and individuals all sharing their commentary, updates or thoughts. As each wave/lockdown unfolded across the UK the evolution of works were further punctuated by many issues that are of global concern and moments that have affected us well beyond the pandemic – conversations around equality, trauma, the historical ‘Brexit’ moment and pledges of reform are all encompassed and bookended with some of the more light-hearted moments experienced in these times.
The distinct rhetoric of collective responsibility, togetherness and unity constantly being pushed onto us by those in positions of power is further amplified by the shapes that appear in the works and reflects a semantic response to this – they aren’t only there to direct your gaze across the image or to pause in certain spaces but contemplate the etymological meaning of what the shapes represent. Through this work I am interested in how we might unite and reflect on this time currently being experienced in our individual and collective ways, as we all live in the hope of clambering out and making it to the other side unscathed. This curious collection of phrases speaks to the dissemination of language and its effect upon us.
A series of 364 works comprised of found photograph, appropriated text and digital shapes collages on Hahnemühle fine art pearl paper; 20.32 x 20.32 cm
Shortlisted for the 7th Singapore International Photography Festival (2020)
Shortlisted for FORMAT21, UK (2021)
Available exclusively via Carrie Scott and Partners. 10% of profits from sales of the series will go to Hospital Rooms, an arts and mental health charity that commissions extraordinary artworks for NHS mental health inpatient units across the UK.
'I Will Try To Do Better' Hospital Rooms auction at Hauser and Wirth, London (September 2020) Photograph: Damian Griffiths
Installation image from Bugis MTR Station, Singapore (December 2020) Singapore International Photography Festival (Shortlisted)