Michael Ondaatje’s ‘English Patient” lies swathed in bandages, inscrutable, an unknown character, a central entity of the novel and film until gradually he is revealed, unwrapped through a series of flashbacks.
Using torn fragments of earlier drawings and paintings, I create a visual metaphor for who I used to be prior to a serious accident that has left a body in pieces, stitched together with bone grafts, pins, plates, scar tissue, a work in progress, large gaps of my physical past forever separated.
Like the English Patient, I have spent months discovering myself while lying in bed, finding reasons for what I have done in my past, discovering reasons for continuing to explore, to glue together the exploded body, to create an unanticipated new form – a chrysalis still growing. I know from some of my old art work who I used to be – but I don’t know who I will be once the glue has set, once the emerging creature is exposed. Certainly it will be a surprise.