My most recent body of work revolves around memories of the bayscapes colonised by oil refineries and other industries from my childhood. As in earlier industrial photography which plays with the scale, power and isolation of these industrial grounds, in my childhood memories they loom large, bare of human presence, dragonesque, irrupting fumes, air and extrusions.
The edge of the bay and the refineries meld caught between sky, oil slick and water. These work are derived from pre-existing photographs and are then morphed—becoming contiguous states, unstable, fragmenting. There is a seesaw float of light and dark and flashes of interference —in the commune of salt and oil. Things that are separate and antithetical, do generate beauty, even through pollution.
These works play with extreme pixilation through half tone screen printing, combined with overlays of film, so that things hover on the edge of focus and of recognition.
This body of work moves into grunge romanticism and plays directly with painterly practice and image technologies.
Gary Smith, 2009.