Roaming Near The Fireplace entwines images found inside a single stack of publications on the shelf of a home library whilst on residency in upstate New York with photographs from James Whiting’s archive, as well as images created in response to both pools of pre-exisiting visuals. Dark humour, tenderness and a pseudo-technicality are woven together alongside a text from the artist, which acts as both a foreword and a continuing supplement to the visual.
What transpires is a broken poem, forming its backbone through the combination of slant rhymes, realised in a visual rather than textual form, with a sustained reference to the process of searching; trying to find, eventually finding, not finding. Isolating specific pillars of the ‘home’ or the ‘homely’ that were most prevalent in the books encountered; horticulture as an interior design motif, the materiality of construction, and emotional connection or nostalgic sentiment, the work tests it’s own incompleteness. What can collected fragments of one subject suggest or reveal about another? Can the gaps in-between become a formative space, rather than an undoing of the whole? Is the proposed succession of pages able to exceed the limited and seemingly disparate nature of the project’s inception, revealing something new, that was absent from the original material? The book plays with and pulls into question our awareness of familiarity, recognition of connection and the placement of importance, as well as the factors that influence our capacity for each.
Book design by Cam Norris.
96 pages, 18.5 x 25 cm, softcover, self-published (Melbourne).