SURFACE FOR AIR, 2004-06
- Supernatural, with Al Munro, Alsager Art Centre, Manchester University, UK, 25 Sept - 27 Oct 2006
- 2x4, ANU School of Art Gallery, 29 April - 1 May 2004
As a printmaker and graphic designer, Erica has been a pioneer in adapting and experimenting with emerging computer technologies, commercial printing, digital photographic process and photocopy in her practice since the early 1980's. For this series, Erica was exploring the available technologies to her at the time, such as flat bed scanning and laser photocopy. At the turn of the 20th Century digital images were still being stored on floppy discs and zip drives, and digital cameras were expensive and had not fully entered the domestic market. While laser photocopy has become more user friendly, it was still considered inferior to more traditional forms of reproduction and print and limited to A4 and A3 sized paper.
Surface for Air was inspired by Italo Calvino’s book Cosmicomics, where he describes evolution and complex scientific concepts though the experience of molecular characters, forming, moving and colliding in the expanse of space. For Erica, the intention for Surface for Air was not to emulate scientific concepts but create a narrative in order to describe the way contemporary science has influenced the way we see our world.
In the works Momentum, 2004, and Biomorph, 2006, Erica has used miniature plastic toys as a point of departure. Re-working flat-bed scans and using half-tones and dot screens, she has manipulated scale with repeated photocopies. Through this process she examines the structure and energy of objects rather than creating literal and static interpretation of the original. Instead she creates an illusion of being able to seed beyond the surface, as if looking at the material structure. In these works the viewers ability to focus on the detail depends upon their own position in the room, the work becoming increasingly kinetic as the surface starts to expand.
The work Atomic, (2004-06) continues the theme of enlargement and abstraction by using 3 different coloured, industrially printed fluorescent coloured cards (110 mm2). This work examines trajectories and collisions; the tension culminating as the colours collide and intersect. The scale of the work takes the viewer through the surface of the object and beyond as we travel deeper into molecular space.