UBIQUITOUS UNSEEN

2015

My Masters project took me on a very unexpected journey into the world of electricity poles and wires. The very first time I truly noticed them was while travelling in Vietnam, where the poles look like they will buckle under the weight of the labyrinth of piled, serpentine wires. Once I began the exploration into the history, components and necessity of these objects, the obsession forged its own bizzaare and all encompassing journey.

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Keele St

2014

Pencil on tracing paper

21 x 30cm

Sackville St

2014

Pencil on tracing paper

15 x 21cm

Sackville St

2015

Pencil on tracing paper

15 x 21cm

ABSTRACT

The Ubiquitous Unseen is a research project that questions if drawing can serve as a tool to better understand and appreciate the unseen in the context of the urban milieu. Electricity poles are quotidian industrial structures that are often overlooked. They are slowly vanishing from our everyday experience and being replaced by underground systems. For this reason I find it essential to document them for posterity. Walking, observation, and documentation have served as the basis of my research. Walking has directed my methodology as subjectively significant poles and wires have guided my paths. I have used historical analytical drawing as a method for exploration, influenced by the aesthetic style and the observation of detail, to fully understand the role of these objects in our everyday. By placing site-specific drawings of electricity poles into public space I am highlighting the beauty, functionality and the metaphors they contain for connection in an otherwise disconnected society.

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Rose St

2015

Pencil on paper

21 x 30cm

Location Unknown 2

2015

Pencil on paper

15 x 21cm

Hotham St

2015

Pencil on paper

15 x 21cm

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Sketch, Various Elements

2014
Pencil on paper
21 x 30cm

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Wellington St

2015

Pencil on paper

56 x 84cm

Hotham St

 2015

Charcoal on Paper

56 x 84cm

Brunswick St

2015

Pencil on paper

29 x 42cm

Charlotte St

2015

Charcoal on paper

60 x 84cm

Location Unknown 1

2015

Pencil on paper

60 x 84cm

Easey St

2015

Pencil on paper

15 x 21cm

Insulators

2015

Charcoal on paper

130 x 150cm

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Sackville St

 2015

Paste-up

Hotham St

2015

Paste-up

Charlotte St

2015

Paste-up

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My research methodology for this project was heavily based on intense and even obsessive observation. Walking provided me with an opportunity to observe and document the varieties of electricity poles in the urban and suburban context. Throughout my everyday routines, I photographed hundreds of electricity poles. These photographs were used as sources for my drawings and also, as much of my observation was above eye level, a means to further observe details that the naked eye may not be able to see. 
Initially my drawings were exploratory journal like sketches that served as exercises in understanding the components and structure of these objects. I then began more thorough and detailed studies of specific poles. Some poles seemed more attractive, due to their configurations, number of insulators, weight and number of wires. Through my research I soon noted that no two poles were the same, this made me recognise the importance of site specificity in this work. 
I then began the process of returning the drawings to their poles of origin. 
By repeatedly drawing one structure, I  strengthened the connection between my brain and my hand. Through this rigorous exercise I noticed the development of a deep understanding of these objects, structurally and aesthetically.

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Orr St component

2015

Paste-up

Orr St component

2015

Paste-up

Orr St component

2015

Paste-up

Orr St

2015

Paste-up

St George's Rd

2015

Paste-up

Orr St

2015

Paste-up

If you want to know more about this project, click the link above and you can read my whole thesis!

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