Last summer I spent a month in the artist residency at Gibraltar Point. On the many ferry trips from the mainland to Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands, I was mesmerized by the unassuming yet powerful presence of the heavy ropes on the boat and the docks. They transported me to a time in my undergraduate years when I studied the work of John Donne and the metaphysical poets. In their poetry, they used the metaphor of the rope to represent the spiritual connection between humanity and the divine. Even then in the 17th century, philosophers and poets were bemoaning the fact that the rope seemed to be fraying.
In this installation, the ropes, the hands and the ghostly chandelier form a triad of themes that allude to theatricality, spirituality and ‘politicality’ in contemporary life. More questions are asked of the viewer than answers given. What ropes support us in our lives? Are they attached to something solid at the other end? How do we make decisions to act if instinct overrides rationality? If we are able to act but don’t, is our general moral stance effectively compromised?
Drawing installation Suspensibility
Medium: etching (drawing on copper plate) on Japanese paper, hand drawing on wall