Featured Artist - Michael Boffey

We asked featured artist Michael Boffey to expand on his practice:

Hi Michael, what are the main themes in your work?

There are motifs that recur, including images of cut flowers, stopped clocks, repeat wallpapers and vessels, such as vases and furniture and fragments of rooms. I think of these objects as mementos; they seem ubiquitous, but have a surplus of significance, because they are containers for memories.

There is a strong sense of nostalgia and the historical. Is your work autobiographical?

An element of autobiography is inevitable, because my thoughts are impregnated with images of my past. The work is not limited to specific histories, but it is helpful to acknowledge and ruminate on aspects of the past in order to deal with the unknown fears and pleasures of the future.

You work in mixed media, bronze sculpture, photography and installation. How does your work on paper relate to your practice as a whole?

Through the process of making, incidents and accidents occur and lead to ideas for other works. I am aware that each piece effects and nourishes other work and in particular, the works on paper act as a catalyst. I'm not especially interested in how an image of a flower can share the qualities of an actual flower. I'm more involved in the idea that images can stand in for thoughts and within that, what the relationship might be between a paperwork, a bronze relief, or sculpture.

Can you expand a little on your approach to work on paper, which is an intriguing combination of photographic and painterly / drawing techniques?

Each new piece starts as a constructed still life, which is photographed. I manipulate the photograph through computer software, then make prints and overprints and continue to manipulate the image using various bleaching and photochemical techniques.

And finally, your techniques are always labour intensive, and the combinations are always distinctive. Is the hand of the artist an important factor to you?

I go to some lengths to disguise "my hand" by using mechanical and repetitive means although consistent interests and habitual working methods tend to give my work an idiosyncratic appearance and to some extent reveal a position, an attitude.