Global mobility, particularly in relation to leisure travel, has been the focus of my practice for several years. Cruise ships, caravans and airplanes have, for me, been signifiers of a mobile world. This work was made in Utah in late 2019, a few months before international travel was halted by a pandemic – when aircraft were still flying. This plane, a 1950s Beechcraft 18 ‘Expeditor’, had long been grounded after being retired from service 35 years earlier. I was drawn to its stout frame and silvery studded surface, and to its past role in aerial cartographic missions. I liked that it had helped map the world and that, in turn, I was mapping, at 1:1 scale, its worn surface through a tactile process of frottage. In this work the marks of the graphite, my hand gestures, the bruising from gusts of wind and smudges of sweat all commingle to capture a small segment of a permanently stationary aircraft.
Image courtesy of the National Art School
Photograph by Peter Morgan