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Brian Usher

It is in the end all about ‘seeing’; looking not at the centre of a thing but at the peripherals, the edges, and sometimes not looking a ‘it’ at all, but at everything around it. Knowing that what I see today may not be what I see tomorrow. Not because the object has changed but because I have. It is also about where in the transition from ‘all too familiar’ to ‘this is my world’ do I engage with the people, places, and objects that make up my life. I use familiar shapes that need closer inspection and time. I don’t try to say ‘this is how it is’ but rather ask ‘how could it be?’

These works are responses to daily life: whether it is watching my children play, an anonymous person going about their day, or a passage in a good book. These events are markers of time and in turn will become memories that guide the way I see the world around us. In these Sculptures I use subtle changes in light and form to speak of transition and change. The forms themselves are more direct responses to precise moments: an object someone holds or discards, a gesture of hand or body, a memory of a distant afternoon. Events in the present and memories of the past combine to illicit forms that will somehow be familiar. It this familiarity that allows us to have common ground, not only in interacting with the work but in life in general.

Some of my newest work deals with ‘void’, ‘hole’, ‘emptiness’, as passageway or view to ‘other’. Within this is the use of a confessional motif as a nod toward the idea of confession as story, as marker of event/time. People as well as objects contain these ‘markers’ and they serve to alter our perceptions of the world around us. If we accept the idea that we view the world through a series of ever developing and morphing filters then each perceptual event will have a bearing on any subsequent events. We can not view the world outside of these events just as we can not remove the ‘trace’ or shadow if you will of our memories of specific moments. The screen serves as a metaphor for the conscious divide that allows us to function while still having access to the necessary memory of the myriad of life events. I use the confessional motif specifically because it is one laden with separateness; both from one another and from ourselves. I choose to explore the feeling that we are connected to our past selves and others as well as the physical.


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