Where did the title of your new work, Cypher of the Cypress Tree come from?
While working on Surveyor, I found a drawing in an old topography guide which described a method for measuring the height of an object with a rod. Beyond its simplicity and practical function, the sketch might also represent some kind of a ritual connecting man, earth and space. This is where the title came from.
How does this new work act as a continuation from Surveyor?
I began observing cypress trees and realised they could act as replacements to some of the measuring tools I used. One of these was a plummet; a weight connected to a string creating a straight vertical line relative to earth. A typical cypress tree resembles this shape upside down, rooted in the earth and pointing towards the sky. Through these trees I was able to meditate on my connection to the land. As a continuation of Surveyor, I'm again developing various symbols and using similar processes, but this time I'm exploring new conversations and themes.
Where did the figure of “the surveyor” originate from?
“The surveyor” can be described as my semi-fictional alter-ego. This character was created whilst attempting to relate to difficult periods of my life, primarily during my military service as an aerial scout. “The surveyor” holds access to repressed places in my memory, helping me to process and convert them into a visual and symbolic language.
You talk about disassembling and reassembling time, space and events; how does this translate into images?
Many of my works are constructed from multiple photographs. Having chosen a space to observe, I then photograph a small portion of it, before moving the camera and recording another area. This method is repeated, and I sometimes collect these spatial fragments over several days. I then re-photograph certain parts that have undergone changes; perhaps in lighting or in the position of objects. Later, I combine the fragments into a final work documenting both time and space. Observing and photographing is “the memorising stage” both in my mind and on the camera’s memory card – in natural and artificial memory. The “recollection stage” is about putting together the different segments.
Text by Georgie Sinclair, Unseen Platform