Welter was made following the death of my partner, Leo Gauvain, in December 2017. The work is a continuation, or expansion, of my recent thesis in which I considered the idea of clouds as feelings and a metaphor for grief. In turn I have begun to consider the idea of images as clouds that can be moved, removed or take different forms, possessing the same mutable quality.
In his writing on clouds Richard Hamblyn writes that their ‘improvised identities [are] drawn from processes rather than permanence…’1 The same could be considered of this work which, unable to settle in one particular form, changes both in terms of the way images are arranged in relation to one another and the overall presentation of these formations.
These arrangements are made by either physically laying out test images and text on the studio wall or digitally in Photoshop. The images are then printed and returned to the wall. The work goes back and forth between these two states in a continuous reworking and weaving together of ideas and associations.
By combining my own photographs with my late partner’s photos, appropriated images, artworks and writings on loss, I explore grief in its various forms and attempt to embody a sense of both a personal and universal loss. This work is ongoing and perhaps can never settle in one form. Like clouds (and grief) it will constantly change, existing in one form for only a limited time.
1 Richard Hamblyn, Clouds (London: Reaktion Books, 2017) p. 110