Over the summer of 2015, I rode the trains of each of New York City's 22 subway lines, collecting bacterial samples from hand rails, seats and other high traffic surfaces.
The samples were taken using sterilized sponges that had been pre-cut into the letter or number of the subway line from which the sample was to be taken - A, C, 1, 6 etc etc. The swabs were then pressed into pre-poured agar plates - their circular shape echoing the graphic language of the subway - and incubated for up to a week in my workshop, and photographed at various stages of development before being safely neutralized and disposed of.
The resulting images are a portrait of the city's complex ecosystem that each of us contribute to and an excellent visual analogy for the subway and city at large. They hopefully also serve as a reminder that in a city that can make you feel small, there are countless billions of smaller inhabitants.
The resulting series - entitled Subvisual Subway - presents a unique and fascinating snapshot of the city's complex microbial ecosystem that each of us are a part of, and offers a chance for people to get a closer look at their fellow commuters.
2012 - 2013
Living edge wood, pyrography, gold leaf
The PAGAN series continues my preoccupation with the juxtaposition of clean, classically designed typography with the chaos of natural processes and organic materials. When combined, these aspects create a visual tension; a conversation between the typography and the surface, with each jostling for visual dominance.
The subject matter for the series is Pagan and Heathen terminology from the Old English dialects of 5th to 12th Century Britain. Pagan and Heathen in this context are taken to mean “country dweller” or “rustic” - without intending to invoke the religious connotations applied since the 20th century.
The typography was applied by hand using a method known as pyrography - a centuries old arts and crafts technique used for decoration, with the earliest surviving examples in Britain dating back to the 4th century.
Pagans traditionally wrote very little down, preferring to pass on stories and learnings by word of mouth - allowing me to treat the type freely. Tree worship was common in their culture, they believed them to be sacred and offered a way to communicate with nature. Here I have taken the words that they spoke in front of the trees and made them as one. As the pieces age over time, my hope is that it will appear as if the two have always existed together.
An exploration of the ideas and terminology within the field of theoretical physics. As an attempt to bring these abstract concepts to life in a simple manner, I limited myself to a single typeface and 2 colors — black and white.
When is a typeface more than a typeface?
In 2015 I once again collaborated with pioneering biochemist and experimental photographer Linden Gledhill, this time for the creation of a conceptual, ornamental type system and a series of accompanying, one-of-a-kind letterpress prints.
The project, Fe2O3 Glyphs, aimed to not only transcend the traditional role of a typeface - to provide a consistent and coherent platform for communication - but to completely invert it. The design of the characters is given over to an evolving, unrepeatable process involving ferrofluid, and the ‘grid’ at the heart of the typeface is generated by conflicting magnetic field lines. Crucially, the medium dictates the forms of the typeface, as opposed to the other way around.
The result is a complex series of hieroglyphics - each one as unique as a snowflake - that call to mind both ancient indigenous markings and symbols from science fiction. These forms were traced as vectors and cast as both a working .otf typeface and also as a unique moveable type printing system, combinations of which will be used to create a series of one off prints where no arrangement of glyphs is ever repeated. To bring the project full circle, the prints will be created using a mixture of actual ferrofluid and Pantone Pure Black printers ink.
The Fe2O3 Glyphs project perfectly marries contemporary scientific process with a centuries old printing process. It questions what a typeface is and what it can be. The prints and typeface will be available through a Kickstarter campaign launching at the end of this month and ending on September 30th.
Personal pieces exploring letterforms, strokes, color and balance.
A legibility experiment conducted in collaboration with Jason Tozer. 20 sheets of glass were screen printed and captured in various states of destruction.
A stencil serif typeface created in 2010.