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Wendy Catling, Afterimage

The cyanotype series 'Afterimage' was produced during the summer of 2016-17. I have an interest in the confluence between visual perception, memory and imagination. The visions seen inside closed eyelids, and afterimage visualisations are aspects of perception that trouble my sleep and that inform my images.  My work stems from the memories and imaginings of a childhood in a hot Australian wheatbelt country town where the anxieties of navigating a dysfunctional family life grew like tentacles reaching into adulthood.  Visions of safe places, both psychological and physical, are shadowed by uncertainty. Using blazing summer sunlight on sensitised archival paper, I have filtered images of real and metaphorical bowers seen during daylight reveries and revisited in late night insomniac states. Drifting clouds are formed by shreds of 1950s organza worn by the woman at a dance before the fateful first meeting with her tormentor. Spider webs of domestic crocheted doilies entice and ensnare. Blue sprites are formed by broken shards of a woman's treasured possessions during violent marital arguments, and the shattered windscreen glass at the moment of impact when her husband dies in a car crash. These are simultaneously moments of hopeful imaginings and enduring sadness.  "My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama." ~ Louise Bourgeois


Wendy Catling