My sculptural works and installations are comprised of numerous small-scale hand made objects. In the case of my ongoing project ‘Inventory’, the bombardment of data currently numbers over 1,500 individual elements. Presented en masse to the viewer, these apparently random images are drawn from a wide range of sources, including mythology, religious iconography, historical occurrence, popular culture and mundane reality. Taken from similar sources, my drawings and random lists written off the top of my head, function in parallel to the sculptural works and share the same stream-of-consciousness aesthetic.
Each time Inventory is exhibited I am keen to highlight the ongoing nature of the work by showing another series of sculptures that are influenced by the production process. Large planks of wood, ladders or other suitable items are covered in lumps of Plasticine that are used to support freshly painted objects on sticks. Over time, an ‘accidental’ sculpture develops, with a glossy multi coloured surface and a protruding series of random items. I call these ‘drying racks’.
I have recently exhibited two large-scale wall paintings, ‘Direct translation’ and ‘Moron’omo’ . Painted in black and white, and various shades of grey, these carnivalesque images act like a billboard advert for the minute coloured items that constitute Inventory. Direct Translation (2005) concerns the translation of everyday Finnish phrases into English, producing some highly unusual images in the process for example, the Finnish phrase roughly meaning ’slapper’ translates into English as ‘A magpie in a snow storm’. Moron’omo (2006) focuses on overheard lame brained conversations (’Look, it’s a stick insect. It’s a bug that looks like a stick’, ‘In America they don’t let blind people drive’), badly executed tattoos (’the ace of spads’) and poor hygiene (’I can smell my balls’).
My performance work focuses on songs that I have written and recorded in collaboration with my brother James Mooney, the band we have formed is called Twentymen. Songs aurally take their influence from a mix of David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Scott Walker and The Divine Comedy. Subject matter ranges from stampedes at Ikea, the tedium of the doctor’s waiting room and observations of pushy mothers who ‘only eat organic matter’.
The pop song is a format that I am fascinated by and I would certainly consider it to be an art form. Our studio recordings, like my sculptural work, carry a strongly subversive tone beneath the commercial sheen. Both are my take on ‘products’.
A new work that I am currently producing is entitled ‘Discontinued’. This concerns a mound of cardboard boxes littered with objects – part shrine, part stock room. Imagery inspired by Video Nasties, Milagros* and warped toys nestle amongst souvenir-like tack, with a looming sense of current day ‘horror’.