I am currently studying a Practice-led PhD at the School of Design at the University of Leeds funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through an award from the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH).
My research seeks to re-trace and redraw the connections between Saturn, melancholy and drawing. Saturn is the case study for this project and the archive of raw images from NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn (1997-2017) is the primary source material. Through drawing – considered as driving method of an expanded practice – I am creating a new body of work to offer a fresh take on the old historical association between Saturn and melancholy. Once considered the planet of melancholy, the advent of optical technology in the 17th-century gradually consolidated Saturn as a scientific object, relegating its connection with melancholy to historical anecdote. The raw images from Cassini subvert the spectacular images of outer space. Unprocessed, monochrome, abstract and fragmented, they disrupt the by-now commonplace image of Saturn and our expectations of objective, transparent and seamless images from science.
My own artistic responses often fuse historically and contextually contrasting representations of Saturn. Drawing is my tool to translate, de-construct, re-construct, entangle, interpret and apprehend (or often purposefully misinterpret and misapprehend). Drawing, especially when responding to technological images, occupies an ambiguous in-between place in the spectrum of objective-subjective ways of seeing. Drawing explores the melancholy of the raw images in relation to their sublime processed counterparts, while also considering melancholy within the labour-intensive act of photorealist mimicry.
The everyday progress of the research is being documented in a private blog but some of the completed artworks can be found in my ‘works‘ section.