Audio transcript

Cathy De Monchaux 'Wandering about in the future, looking forward to the past'

Narrator: The artist Cathy De Monchaux

CATHY DE MONCHAUX
I made this piece 'Wandering about the future, looking forward to the past' in 1994 when I was in the middle of splitting up with someone I had lived with for the eight years before that. I suppose it is quite self-explanatory really. It is about being in a completely stasis position but not really knowing what was going on in the future but looking forward to it, looking forward to the present, which was the now that I was in, becoming the past. The piece was initially made for a space where there were some large windows and I wanted the actual installation of the glass panels to be very, very tenuous and fragile - as if they could just be cut or pulled away. Therefore the glass is held in place by ribbons, which is probably the most insane way of holding a sheet of glass in place. I wanted to emulate something a little bit like the idea of a Mondrian where you have a beautiful white canvas divided by black lines, but because it's ribbons it is all a little bit disjointed and not completely straight. I am interested in the idea of a grid, yet it is disrupted by the fragility of its construction. The glass being painted out is a very important image for me.

When I was a child my father was an artist and his studio was in the front room, in a little terraced house in a little terraced street. Our house had painted out windows, because that was where his studio was. He wanted light to come in but people not to be able to see in. I used to sit in his studio scratching the glass to be able to see out into the street. I wanted this piece to somehow convey an idea of being in a state of stasis, not knowing, and potential. That there was potential beyond this central spine, of something maybe beyond that one could enter, imaginatively or literally. That maybe that something is potentially beyond this white painted glass.