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Marlene MacCallum


The visual interpretation of domestic space and the ordinary occurrences of daily life has been the consistent pursuit of my practice. I am fascinated by our relationship with the spaces that frame and objects that fill most daily lives, and yet, are overlooked as we move through our daily routines in a state of inattentional blindness.

I begin by making photographic records. A visual occurrence startles me out of my routine relationship with objects and spaces and prompts the image choice. The gathering of images results in a visual archive of ephemeral moments, often linked by a sense of the uncanny or a spatial déjà vu. Drawing on this source, I then build book works that focus attention on the poetic potential of the ordinary matters of daily life.

My practice has moved from the creation of singular photogravure prints to their sequential integration into book works to the inclusion of writing and interactive digital formats. The book work is a multi-dimensional art form, encompassing the two-dimensionality of the page, the three dimensionality of the structure and the fourth dimension of time. This art form affords me the opportunity to integrate a variety of printing methodologies and sequential structures in a form that provides the viewer with intimate interaction with the work.

Helen Macdonald writes in H is for Hawk “You are exercising what the poet Keats called your chameleon quality, the ability to “tolerate a loss of self and a loss of rationality by trusting in the capacity to recreate oneself in another character or environment”. She states “this feat of imaginative recreation has always come easily to me. Too Easily. It’s part of being a watcher, forgetting who you are and putting yourself in the thing you are watching.” My goal is to be an attentive watcher, a gatherer of the dismissed aspects of our lives, and for the resulting works to bear witness to the significance of our subtle environment.