Evidence of Walking 2018
EVIDENCE OF WALKING
A New Series of Images in Black & White
BIRTH OF THE CONCEPT: A couple of Christmas’s ago Vancouver was hit by a number of ice and snow storms. The streets and sidewalks were literally canvases built by layer upon layer of shoe treads embedded in the ice, signs of people, dogs and a few skunks and coyotes moving about in all directions.
I photographed dozens of these small film noirs and got to the point where I said to Max (the dog) “we are both going to freeze to death out here so let’s just capture abstract works that Matisse would approve of”. They were all over the place. Based on these photos I started collecting dozens of shoes at 2nd hand stores, ones with aesthetic sole designs. These soles became stamps that could be covered with acrylic paint.
Suddenly all kinds of ideas and metaphors about taking action, walking, finding a path, leaving behind a light footprint on the earth…. started to shape images that appeared. I could see that some of the images and their abstractions could work on very large canvases. One of these images came from a love of Calder’s mobiles as I imagined how Calder would playfully turn the Milky Way into a mobile.
So the images you see here are soon headed for a larger format. I remain committed to seeing where this idea of leaving traces behind as we move takes me. The Japanese language may be unique in having a word for the experience we have when we see the wake from a ship even though the ship itself has disappeared behind an island. Giacometti, particularly in his large free- standing figures wanted to capture what was left in the memory after you turned away from a friend. His bronzes became goldfish thin, very tall figures as if his memory had compressed them for better preservation.