I have always been fascinated by roots, origins. The pathways that we currently tread have been defined and mapped by people and places from the remote and distant past. In my mind, the very word ‘root’, might be semantically echoed in the word ‘route’, a word that determines a pathway, a structure, a map of regions, and alternative, or potential paths.
My recent project HERENOWHERE hints at roots and pathways previously trodden, pathways yet to be trodden, and pathways that remain hidden, sequestered, abstracted, or imagined.
The physical form of roots is dendritic, and this form reverberates through our physiology, our synapses, blood vessels, lungs, it manifests itself in the physical patterns of trees (above ground and below), the courses of rivers and runnels, leaf structure, corals, etc.
It therefore takes no great leap of imagination to presume that peoples, cultures, are also governed by dendritic paths. The places we inhabit are examples of only one of a multitude of possible outcomes in terms of physical and phenomenological presence. A slight divergence from one or several potential pathways may have resulted in our arriving at some point, some location entirely different to the one we currently occupy, both physically and cognitively. It might resemble what we know, what we have come to love or hate, but there are differences, some dramatic, some eerily familiar.
Perhaps this is why I feel drawn to the lost, forgotten, abandoned, secreted, simply because these elements hint at paths that may have been trodden, routes that may have been taken, but through the merest diversion, became separated from us, lost in time, contaminated, disinherited, removed from collective memory.
HERENOWHERE offers a fragmented glimpse into what might be, should a different route have been taken – if we had strayed onto another path, another plane of existence. In my fascination with tracing roots and origins, I find the modern and familiar resonating through the ancient and arcane. This, I would suggest is tangible evidence that we have lived before in other guises, alternative forms, on a different path on the same strand of DNA….