The ten images presented here form a body of work I have grouped under the title Lacuna. Although I prefer not to talk explicitly about the aesthetic aspects of my photographs, but rather choose to them to stand for themselves, either in isolation or in relation to each other, I would like to sketch out how they came into being.
In 2017, following my exhibition and publication Mathematics, I began making new work in Finland, Estonia, Slovenia and the UK. Also around this time, my mother’s health began to deteriorate. Now in her late 80s, she began to lose interest in eating, and I had to brace myself for her death, which took place in June 2019.
The photographs I was making during these years began to suggest to me a ‘compass of apprehension’ for events to come, that broadened out far beyond any purely personal context. By this I mean that while I was thinking about my mother’s impending death, I was also increasingly preoccupied by a profound sense that our collective way of life was somehow going to undergo radical change.
The word I came to associate with this extended moment of anticipation or suspension or deferral was Lacuna. This word, which comes originally from the Latin for ditch, gap or lagoon, has over time acquired various meanings in English usage, including an hiatus, a discontinuity.
In early 2018 I travelled to South India with the intention of making photographs drawing energy from some of the modern tensions between spiritual, and rational or scientific knowledge. However, on returning to the UK, I was forced to concede that the works made in India were actually a continuation of those photographs I had made in these other countries during this time of anxiety for the future, as if this theme was insisting on its importance.
Naturally, I did not have a precise idea of what calamity might befall us all, but I have been quite astonished by the extraordinary events of the Covid-19 pandemic, and which do suggest to me that huge changes are still to come to our lives and in our way of life.
These photographs all exhibit very high levels of resolution, and in them colour, form and tremendous detail work intimately together, and collectively form a quiet monument to the time I felt the ground begin to move beneath my feet.