the Annals of Artspace IAa
IAa International Residency Exhibition
January 25 – February 23, 2019
supported by Arts Tasmania, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Jeju Foundation for Arts and Culture.
When do we shift from being a spectator to being emotionally engaged with a place? My focus during this residency on Jeju was to explore how we perceive a site, and ask when do we go beyond looking to experiencing?
I arrived in Jeju as a cultural outsider viewing the location from essentially a ‘tourist’s perspective’: the language, culture and landscape was a new experience. With the ever-increasing tourism market on this island paradise my focus was improve the phenomena of the photo opportunity, rather than simply a being a visitor. I wished to creatively enrich my experience of a place.
Initially I noticed the profound similarities between Jeju and Tasmania. For example, both are islands, where both are renowned for their pristine beauty, cultural and historical uniqueness, and both are marketed as ultimate holiday experiences.
Being limited to only six weeks on Jeju most of my time was spent exploring, learning, meeting the locals, and then using this new knowledge to come to a greater understanding of the island’s history and significance. I also had the opportunity to be part of everyday activities like grocery shopping, catching public transport, and putting out the rubbish… Trying to live like a local rather than a tourist. This gave me the time to experience the rhythm of everyday life on Jeju.
This suite of works I produced whilst on the island all resulted from deeply significant moments for me. Each of these paintings have a personal backstory. At first glance they could be read as a snapshot in time, yet they represent a larger narrative and a combination of several perspectives and moments. Even the titles are clues to the backstory. None of these paintings are simple copies of photograph taken on site, rather they are a chance to see the creative process and how those backstories come together to create a painting. The iPad drawing videos reveal some of the process of searching the site, where the high-speed video of my digital drawings shows my artistic experience on site in just a few minutes. Does the concentration of observation, history, perspective and painting in both the forms of video and painting offer a better form of interpretation and experience to the viewer?
“This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts”.