Royal College of Art: MPhil Work

I completed my MPhil at The Royal College of Art, London, in the summer of 2004. My thesis, Cloud: A Schematic of Appearance, examined cloud as a case study for seeing and believing. I analyzed the relationship between the imagination and visual experience, the use of cloud as a visual device, and, primarily, the modes and methods employed in the representation of both cloud and the ideas or phenomena that have cloud as their model. I first looked at some of the ways in which clouds and the sky have been, and are currently understood. Then, I analysed the relationship of cloud with, and interruption of the pictorial order, the ideas that make use of its figure, and the various methods applied in its representation. Finally, I explored the use of cloud as a visual analogy for states of divine rapture and death, and its adoptive form as the proof of a spirit presence.

My practical research took the form of a collection of books, drawings, sculptures, animations and photographs, some of which are included below.

Out of Thin Air
dehumidifier, hose, ink, water
dimensions variable
April 2003

Out of Thin Air makes use of a mechanical device to produce a trace or proof of the moisture in the air. The dehumidifer’s reservoir is filled with an ink solution up to the level of the overflow. It is then switched on. Over time. depending on the humidity of the air, a dark ink stains appears and works its way across the floor, mapping its uneven surface and leaving tide marks as it dries.

Appearing Book of Drawings
bound charcoal drawings on cartridge
60x40cm
February 2004

The Appearing Book of Drawings makes similar use of the spine’s fold to the Book of Horizons (below). The drawings were produced first, and then bound. The centre of the mark’s mass is consumed by the structure that holds and displays the drawn pages, disappearing into the fold.

Untitled Chain Drawings
ink on cartridge
60x80cm
February 2003

In the pair of series of drawings Untitled (Chain Drawings) I employed a minimal method of producing a picture. The ink series involved tipping ink onto the paper and then giving it a short agitation, allowing it to shift over the white surface. It was then poured onto the next sheet, forming a chain of drawings, one to the next. The same process was used with graphite powder. The drawings were therefore allowed to almost produce themselves, with a minimum intervention by myself.

Untitled Chain Drawings
graphite powder on cartridge
60x80cm
February 2003

As in the previous series in ink, this graphite powder series involved tipping the powder onto the paper and then giving it a short agitation, allowing it to shift over the white surface. The powder was then poured onto the next sheet, forming a chain of drawings, one to the next. The same process was used with diluted black ink. The drawings were therefore allowed to almost produce themselves, with a minimum intervention by myself.