wood for the trees is a psychological exploration of the seconds before the focus point is reached, inspired by the Emily Dickinson poem below. It examines a projected mirroring between finding oneself physically lost in a forest and being adrift in the subconscious. This work is an attempt to freeze time during the moments before a decision must be made, to delay clarification and inhabit the territory of uncertainty.
I dwell In Possibility -
I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –
Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –
Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –
- Emily Dickinson
The original series of photographs were taken in the winter of 2014, left to gather virtual dust for 6 months, then printed and left to gather real dust, before eventually being reassembled in new ways yet another 6 months later.
Between the original photographs being taken, and the finished outcome I was studying Derrida’s ‘On Grammatology’, and was quite intrigued with his ‘logic of the supplement’; the idea that a supplement is something that, allegedly secondarily, comes to serve as an aid to something 'original' or ‘natural’. He describes the supplement as:
"a plenitude enriching another plenitude, the fullest measure of presence", so for example an Encyclopedia may have been considered to hold all useful knowledge, until of course something new was discovered and a supplement had to be added. We can see this used in modern day terms by considering Wikipedia and the way it is constantly monitored and updated.
However, Derrida also suggests that "the supplement supplements… adds only to replace… represents and makes an image… its place is assigned in the structure by the mark of an emptiness"
wood for the trees is heavily inspired by this duality of supplementarity, and aspires to show that answers, and indeed, the right questions are regularly being updated. Certainly any sense of clarity can and often does change over time, particularly where memory is involved. Thus the moment just before all becomes clear is continually unfolding, the search for answers never over, the questions eternally suspended in the air.