Landscapes 5: Tado Taisha Chochin Matsuri (2018, mixed media)

This mixed media addition to the ‘Landscapes’ series continues the international and more urban themes emerging with Container Port, depicting one of Japan’s great Lantern Festivals. Dynamic lines suggest the movement of crowds toward lighted lanterns in the top part of the piece while multiple red circles against the white lower section imply a multiplication of the Japanese flag or of Japan itself. The split background evokes the tension felt by an observing visitor, eager to participate yet separate from and inescapably, as a tourist, objectifying the culture he or she wishes to experience.

The piece thus touches on questions around travel, tourism and the specular gaze, dialoguing with Pipsinella’s Trousseau series both in medium and also in its gentle interrogation of what it means to consume – and be consumed by – the experience of international travel in the 21st century.