A lot of my work draws inspiration from literature or poetry and this series does so very deliberately. The original idea for the series was inspired by the Borges story "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius", in which artefacts from a fictional world begin to invade our 'real' world, slowing taking it over and erasing what was there before. Another point of inspiration was a Grant Morrison Doom Patrol story dealing with very similar ideas. The original idea was to create paintings which would, in a sense, function as artefacts from these worlds, blurring the line between reality and non-reality. ‘Orbis Tertius’, ‘The Multiplication of Falsehoods’ and ‘Towers of Blood’ were directly inspired by the previously mentioned Borges story.
The ‘world’ of the paintings has since expanded to include a range of fictional worlds. ‘From Nothing’ comes from a combination of the Borges story ‘The God’s Script’ and the work of Samuel Beckett all overlaid with a deep sense of cynicism and pessimism.
‘Indeterminate’ was also inspired by Borges, but in this case the story ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’, with green background and the maze being direct references. On the other hand, ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’ was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, in which I was trying to capture the feeling of moving from one world to another, a sense of dislocation and uncertainty.
Both ‘Difference Engine’ and ‘Infernal Device’ were inspired by readings of Steampunk books. ‘Difference Engine’ functions as a kind of mash-up of William Gibson, chaos theory (represented by the butterfly) and chaos as an imperative of evolution, with the background labyrinth a stand in for the human brain and the overlaid gears as a steampunk lens. ‘Infernal Device draws from similar iconography, but also touches on the idea of sufficiently advanced technology seeming magical and mysterious.
The series is far from finished, with approximately another five or so ideas currently knocking about my head. All these paintings can, in a sense, be seen as remnants of fictional worlds, not just those created by Borges in his story, but in a variety of pieces of fiction or poetry which have all resonated with me strongly.