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                            Issa's world


In this painting I wanted to explore through co-visualisation, the experience of space shared by human and non-human animals. The work derives from walks with my dog on the Cumbrian coast, where running freely on the beach, she behaves as if the world has lost all spatial boundaries. The Solway has a vast tidal reach and at low tide the littoral is completely different from spaces experienced inland: it affects both human and dog physically and psychologically. One loses all notions of self in this temporary landscape. Normal perceptions of time, space and movement are superseded by tide-tables, constant variety and the inconstancy of objects - a world 'without edge' or a 'floating world'.


The painting’s title is an intertextual allusion to Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World which alerted me, at an early age, to the experience of otherness. There is a seeming contrast between Christina’s paralysed crawling and the imminent energy of the dog, but each seems to be exploring the world to the limit of their physical capabilities. Animals have the capacity to show us hidden parts of themselves and our shared worlds, thereby challenging human assumptions of supremacy.


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