Everybody knows this is nowhere
Exhibition Catalogue published by Millenium Court Art Centre
The works in this body of practice are a series of paintings and the performance process which generated the series. The work was commissioned by the Millennium Court Art Centre in Craigavon, a new town (early 1970s) in Northern Ireland, as an artistic exploration of the formation and consequent psychogeographic experience of a new town. The research considers how we engage with specific natural and man-made environments, especially the civic, institutional and architectural structures that have attempted to respond to or deal with the political conflict in an area. The decision to use painting, and work through it in a way which was informed by a performance aesthetic, was a continuation of Stitt's interest in painting as performance trace. Cycling became part of the performance because a cycle network was an integral part of the town planning, designed to separate pedestrians and cyclists from traffic routes. The artist's psychogeographic experience - the study of specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals - was carried out through cycling in the ˜new city" of Craigavon in Northern Ireland through a series of site visits and explorations via the city's cycle network. This arrangement created a transition between the artist's cycling experience, location, and the body-before-the-canvas. Cycling with the performing body drew to light the nature of the cycle network as a structure of transition, creating intervals between light and dark, e.g. going through underpasses, and safety and danger, e.g. isolated stretches, and these became competing or opposing states on the canvas, e.g., geometric forms overlain with smeary, industrial washes.