As part of Buxton Festival Fringe’s first Grinlow Art Trail I installed a specially made version of I am a Traveller in Both Time and Space into the Trail’s woodland setting. The imagery this time was specific to Buxton, Grinlow Wood and the surrounding landscape and was an acknowledgement of and reflection on my roots, both geographical and emotional. After much travelling through time and space I find myself once more, temporally and temporarily, ‘home’.
My contribution to the exhibition Timeslip, on show in Stall Street, Bath, UK, from 23rd May to 8th June, is a 3 Dimensional Collage constructed from hinged mirror tiles and old snapshots taken in different parts of the world and at different periods of time. Laying the photographs down on the surface of a plinth and then standing the hinged mirrors over them in a carefully arranged configuration the work, I am a Traveller in Both Time and Space, creates a kaleidoscope of images endlessly repeating themselves into an infinite and seemingly impossible space. Taking techniques originally used by William S. Burroughs over fifty years ago I am a Traveller… develops these techniques further to illustrate how hidden dimensions may exist within the ones we are more commonly aware of. The work is presented as an homage to Burroughs in this, the one hundredth anniversary year of his birth.
As part of the Still Points;Moving World exhibition in Bath, UK, from May 23rd to June 8th, James Merrick has been given a space which used to be the changing rooms in the Old Officer’s Club department store on Stall Street. A text generated from the Collected Poems of Octavio Paz, Merrick’s contribution (Octavio Paz, Single Words, Left Aligned, 1957-1987) is a digital projection originally created in 2009, but when projected onto the mirrors of the changing rooms the piece is utterly transformed and made anew, proving the original premise of the piece that the work and the words change depending on the context in which it is shown.
Marcel Duchamp suggested that art could be reduced to the choices made by the artist: I choose to use this colour paint; I choose to use that bottle rack. With Octavio Paz… James Merrick uses the choices made by a long dead poet over a thirty year period to produce the work for him.
Initially this appears to be just an address book, but on careful reading we discover that almost everyone listed in it lives in the same town, in fact on the same road. Some of the listings have been crossed out and we find dates of death next to these names, along with the name of their doctor, next of kin, and sometimes the date, time and place of their funeral and the vicar who presided. All of the deaths occurred over a two or three year period in the late 1960’s.
The Log Book from Askern Colliery is a record of the night shift at a coal mine, documenting the number of men in and out, times, and work done, up to it’s last night before closure. It mostly takes the form of lists and numbers in differing handwriting, formal and functional, a working document, but as the final shift approaches a little more individuality and humanity creeps in, opinion and emotion is ever-so-slightly expressed, the functionality slipping as the job comes to an end.
Photography is time travel. In this series I take photographs from different times and of different places from my own personal collection and merge them in a visual representation of memory, place and identity.
The fourth in the series of bookworks using the novels of Francois Sagan as their starting point. A Certain Smile takes the 1979 Penguin edition of her novel of that name and transforms it into an original concrete poem by removing all text other than sentences beginning ‘We…’ up to the first punctuation. A Certain Smile continues the series, begun in 2009 with La Chamade, exploring the multiplicity, malleability and fallibility of human consciousness and memory, whilst showing there to always be more than one side to a story.
More information can be found at: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/4995988-a-certain-smile