Peter Ainsworth’s practice explores how “various structures; aesthetics and social interactions form the complex urban environment that surrounds us.”
“Known for his photography, Ainsworth also employs elements of performance, sculpture, video and print in the realisation of his work.
In Unsounded Surplus Ainsworth examines the relationship between inorganic and organic structures, the marks made by subconscious interactions, traces of activity and the render of concrete. Ainsworth makes work that examines the recesses of the landscape, looking at the edge of the urban through an engagement with spaces that are not habitually used in the normative navigation of the city.
From the project Zone of Transit, 2010-2012
Pendulum 2012, Film.
Unsounded Surplus represents his engagement with sites such as flyovers, storm drains and the isosceles of land around retail parks. The site in which the artist inhabits has become a studio in the landscape, where the images produced show the repetitious mapping of space. The dead tendrils overhanging the storm drain walls in winter in contrast to the verdant, though melancholic greenery of summer that endeavours to survive in this concrete island. The process of making, in the context of this landscape, is a physical way to determine the identity of the site. In his images, the act of photographing is a search for something that is missing, something unseen or intangible, whilst engaging with a substrata of the city.
Ainsworth presents images that depict pockmarked walls scuffed, water and sewage stained. Large scale photographic works that act as simulacra of the site (where one can almost pick the unripe blackberries) are placed in relation to video pieces that explore notions of time and the intangibility of sensual experience. In “Prism”, 2012 Ainsworth depicts the light reflecting off water contained within a storm drain onto a concrete wall. The flickering light is a daily occurrence. The angle at which the light hits the water under this particular flyover acts like a mini Stone Henge, a prism that enlivens the space for a brief period of time. The video is accompanied by a soundscape where the noise of the cars racing overhead is contrasted with the sound of water, a moment of beauty in an invisible city within the substructure of the urban.
Within Ainsworth’s work, landscape is seen as a series of interactions, where the relationship between objects is resplendent with occurrence and chance encounters. In his process of art creation, the incidental details by which the landscape is constructed are examined and human intervention (in the form of growth, mark, detritus or landscaping) is highlighted as being just one element where relations in the world occur.”