Polishing The Earth

Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham
Photograph by Tanya Cottingham

A/i'm


-

"Scrub"
The Telling Series
Kythera
December 2008

-

Close
Scrub by Tanya Cottingham

That which is not fixed, is malleable, allows us to dream. The sky is never fixed.


My work sculpts space into imagining place, creating re-realities. My small acts effect perceptual rupture, subtle works of quiet revolution inside the inescapable spectacle. Negotiating with space, i challenge its properties, exposing power sources and inequalities. Seeking to validate the legitimacy of current experience my acts activate physical space and our experience of it, the re-experiencing of experience.

Space is both my subject and tool.

Space is the envelope that gravity pins us to. It is a hierarchical trickster and prejudices widely. Space bullies us and in turn is itself bullied. Space is an instrument of power.

Space is both matter, a solid substance and also ephemeral. Space is malleable, morphing, effected and effecting. A fluid in flux. Space is territory, air, sea and boundaries. Space is urban planning, home improvements, migration and demolition. Space is in your bedroom and in your head.

All space is now commodified, even the wind has a price tag. And personal physical space is reducing in this global theatre, effecting deeply the experience of our own lives.

I make work in urban landscapes, seek out ruins and abandoned land. Contested sites of unlimited potential, bruised by economic growth and decline. These dysfunctional spaces are defined by histories of spent human interactions therein. The displacement of bodies has carved angry scars into the buildings fabric, and what remains is space molded by our emotional and physical journeys led by both pressures of ideology and desire. The mark-making of humans on land mass.

These abandoned sites are not fixed, are places of acceptance and resistance, their multiple lives invite re-thinking spaces, new places. Temporarily inhabiting them i listen to what they have witnessed. Collaborating with the buildings themselves, i enable them to articulate their longings. I sift through past lives and hunt for the illusive trace of what escapes us. Interpreting the trajectories of the people that have passed through these spaces, mark-making bodies, writing and re-writing lines drawn in time and space, i expose and map these journeys. Previously hidden vistas are revealed.

These sites are my artists material, form and substance are crafted from sensations expressed by departed bodies and the reductive qualities of space is used as matter. My interventions, puncture, rupture, tear and fracture space. I push, pull and alter space while aiming not to destroy it, only leave soft scars. I re-organise urban space and re-direct bodies movements in it. I write bodies in space. Scrubbing, dancing, searching as in a lost memory or dream space. Re-defining and re-humansing redundant sites, i connect expired lives with the past, suggesting anew the possibility of flexible futures. Lost promise is replaced with a desire for redemption. A re-new-all.

I scrub derelict lands due for demolition. I mask off the light to create new points of focus. Intuitive interventions, my acts are anti-monument and transient. They are essentially outside of arts own vacuum, deeply rooted in the social and political. As i migrate to explore new territories, so my works expire without trace, the materials used being paper, light, dust, dance and air. My acts activate space by stepping softly backwards and asking us to face towards the gaps between the shadows.



thexecutivebaglady@yahoo.co.uk

Scrub by Tanya Cottingham