Artist Statement

-The machine can never do what the hand can, which is to fail miserably. For it is around that failure that our being is constellated-

Change is a constant in my work. Each different body of work delineates the evolution of ideas over the course of the thirty years of my practice. The social and the self, the body and the body politic are the binaries that provide the conceptual framework for my practice. Representing subjective experience and its relationship to the larger societal context allows the smaller lived experience to shed meaning on the events taking place on the world stage and vise versa. Generally there is a news story behind a given body of work, be that AIDS, war or advances in surveillance technologies. The ideas embodied in these stories are like irritants and the work accretes around them like pearls. The various ‘looks’ of mechanical reproduction: digital, the dot matrix in print reproduction, film or television technologies are rendered by hand in an attempt to represent both the message and the means by which it is delivered. Picturing these filters articulates the distance from which we view the world. The handmade lends a certain trustworthiness that cannot be assumed with the technologically produced image.

The studio is a controlled environment like that of a laboratory and similarly it is a place where serendipitous accidents can be repeated. Processes and materials are the vocabulary, and the method of working in series provides the syntax for my art. I cannot anticipate the direction the work might take but it is through the process of making things, be they drawings, paintings or animations that I can begin to understand what the subconscious may already have known.  Intuition is my seeing-eye dog. I follow it blindly and trust that it will get me where I never knew I wanted to go.

Stephen Andrews 07/04/10

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