Solo Expedition #5

This week I discovered another water tower about half an hour from the city and trekked through some fields to reach it. This was the closest I have managed to get to a water tower so far in Cork, the most rural example and I could photograph it to its full extent without needing to rely on archival material to understand the structure of the base.

This was a typical water tower, a mushroom shaped concrete looming structure, designed in this way to hold a water tank- a utilitarian beast!

Bringing a 1980s polaroid camera during these road trips for drawing site visits, I stop so often to investigate defunct areas of the landscape that the journey is often just as compelling as the destination. I have also been significantly developing a few large scale drawings this week. Willow and compressed charcoal are my preferred medium due to its velvety texture and versatility. It’s like a between point for me of the acts of painting and drawing in the way that I manipulate it except I need to wear gloves and a dust mask.

Work in progress

The exhibition now has a title: Monuments of Abandoned Futures. It’s derived from an early docu-fiction by the artist Robert Smithson titled “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey”, 1967. It records a journey through an industrial wasteland where he reimagines rusty pipelines, buildings and bridges as monuments.

I share a desire with Smithson to apply my own fiction to less appreciated landscapes, reimagining what’s already there.

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