(Street Interventions, Milton Keynes and beyond, 2014 – ongoing) paper

My street interventions are from my earliest practice, from long before I professionalised. They started where I live in Milton Keynes, but over the years I’ve done them all over.

A curator once pointed out to me that my street interventions are a sort of small subversive act. Like much of my work, there’s a lot of up-front production to make something materially ephemeral, merely to change a space for a moment in time. Her interpretation was that it was undermining of capitalist structures: the determination to effortfully produce something that resists being coralled into a material object with value or longevity. As I come to understand my own practice better over the years, I suspect it’s more to do with futility and abusrdity, disability, and trying to communicate by causing people to feel and experience space and reality differently, in a very primal, visceral, immediate way.

Way back, I started out making them from old copies of The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. It was a bit tongue-in-cheek: because I struggle with information processing, the book was fairly useless to me. So instead I built my actual art from it. (Of course it’s an anachronism now, yet still I remain somehow stubbornly invisible to the mainstream artworld.) Over the years I have now used all sorts of different paper sources.

I’ve always been a bit obsessed with the underpasses in Milton Keynes β€” something to do with the crossing of ways and being submerged β€” there’s something rather mystical about them β€” so that was the original canvas I started with. In later years, there are also interventions in rural locations, such as Iceland, in a stately home (Doddington Hall), and in other towns, such as Cambridge.

Nine prints of these interventions were shown at Venice International Experimental Art Festival in 2016/2017.